Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My kit!

I wasn't home yesterday because I got special permission to leave Hogwarts for the night and travel home to see my parents. My mother has spent the last two weeks in South America working as a Healer in rural Muggle communities, and she came home yesterday, which was also my parents' wedding anniversary. My father had bought us front row tickets to see the Weird Sisters, so of course everyone was very excited (and very, very tired today). They played for three hours, and we stood and danced the whole time.

And, as such things tend to go, I arrived back at Ravenclaw Tower to find that Nate, Megaera Black's owl, had come by with my parcel. Naturally, Dorian was quite excited about this visitor (and quite indignant that I'd left him home alone overnight). I'm not sure what he and Nate got up to but there were both feathers and fur on the floor around my bed. I had an early Transfiguration class, but I couldn't wait to open my package--and what an awesome surprise it was:

Believe it or not, she fit all of that into one box. I had said that I wanted a surprise kit, and that's definitely what I got. It was a combo of a Dye kit and a Sock kit. I got some beautiful KnitPicks Imagination Sock yarn in Pixie Dust (which actually looks a lot more Ravenclaw-y than I would have guessed.) I, er, bought myself some of the Imagination when I was getting things for CGP's kit, and just started knitting with it last week. It's lovely yarn. (I bought the "Wicked Witch" colourway, and I'm making the Bellatrix socks out of it. Appropriate, no?) Meg also sent me two skeins of the Bare superwash sock yarn one skein of Bare superwash, and one skein of Bare Merino Silk (which explains why I kept thinking, "This one feels different for some reason!") and dye in Sapphire Blue and Silver.

The bag she sent was also really cool:

There were also lots of really neat accessories: A mini sock keychain in Ravenclaw colours, a set of magnets for chart reading (which I need, because I am USELESS at that), a Ravenclaw keychain, a Care of Magical Creatures magnet, some Bunny Butt Apothecary hand stuff (an etailer I've heard loads about but haven't tried yet!), a Ravenclaw tie crest, some delicious looking chocolate rock candy, 2.75mm KP Harmony needles, a yummy bar of cherry-scented soap, and a really neat pendant shaped like a Scrabble tile with a tiny piece of the story on it (It's one of the Hedwig parts, which is SO cool). She managed to fit most of this into a little wooden chest.

In the midst of all that awesome, the stitch markers stood out:

(I love owls.)

To go along with my yarn and dye, I also received a copy of The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing. I've had it recommended to me several times by friends as one of the best books for dye beginners, and I'm really excited to read it. When I opened the book, there was one last surprise--a copy of Kate Gilbert's Bird In the Hand mitten pattern. I've been ogling this pattern for months now, and I actually bought the yarn to make a pair for my mom for Christmas on the weekend. What an awesome surprise.

Thank you so much to Megaera and Maylee! This was an awesome surprise kit, and I can't wait to get knitting and dyeing!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

spinning 'round and 'round...

For once I am all caught up on my homework (take that, transfiguration!), so I got to actually do something fun last night. I'd almost forgotten what that feels like, especially after our crushing defeat at the hands of Hufflepuff in the weekend Quidditch match. Very sad, really.

Anyhow, one of the school's old students came back yesterday to visit, and she brought so much stuffh with her. I think the Headmistress had told her about how many of us were interested in magical fibre arts, so she packed up all kinds of little samples of different fibres for us to feel. She had quivit, alpaca, different sheep, silk, llama, angora, mohair...all kinds of stuff. It was so neat to feel.

Then she gave each of us a little batt of wool, a piece of yarn, and a simple drop spindle, and we got to practice spinning our own yarn. It was really tricky--mine has a little bit too much twist. It was a lot of fun, though.

She had her spinning wheel there, too, but I didn't want to try it. I am desperately afraid that I will love spinning, and I just don't have time (or money) for it right now. Plus I want to save something for later, you know?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


1. Who was Tom Riddle Sr.'s girlfriend before Merope gave him the love potion?
a. Eleanor
b. Cecilia
c. Sally
d. Mandy

2. What does Luna say floated into Harry's ear when he was in the train car that supposedly caused him to lose focus?
a. Demiguise
b. Jobberknoll
c. Wrackspurt
d. Runespoor

3. How much do the primary Apparition lessons cost?
a. 10 galleons
b. 8 galleons
c. 15 galleons
d. 12 galleons

4. What is Professor Merrythought's first name?
a. Eileen
b. Galatea
c. Carol
d. Jocelyn

5. What Hogwarts club was Eileen Prince captain of?
a. Charms Club
b. Gobstones Club
c. The Slug Club
d. Occlumency Club

6. Who is head of the Goblin Liaison office?
a. Ambrosius Flume
b. Dirk Cresswell
c. Ciceron Harkiss
d. Barnabas Cuffe

7. Mrs. Weasley offers Fleur a goblin-made tiara for the wedding with Bill. What family member is currently in possession of the tiara?
a. Aunt Muriel
b. Aunt Ethel
c. Aunt Edna
d. Aunt Thelma

8. How many points does Snape take from Gryffindor for Harry's late arrival and muggle attire?
a. 30
b. 70
c. 50
d. 90

9. When Profressory Slughorn first meets Hermione, he asks her whether she is related to Hector Dagworth-Granger. What society did Dgworth-Granger found?
a. The Most Extraordinary Society of Charms
d. The Most Extraordinary Society of Herbology
c. The Most Extraordinary Society of the Defense Against the Dark Arts
d. The Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers

10. Which of these describes Golpalott's Third Law?
a. The antidote for blended poison will be equal to less than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components
b. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to less than the product of the antidotes for each of the separate compenents
c. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the product of the antidotes for each of the separate compenents
d. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separtea components

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ravenclaw quiz

1- Astrid Cloverleaf
2- Cassandra Grubbly Plank
3- Enna Kirts
4- Selena Starfire
5- Henry Longstaff
6- Ceciley Fortescue
7- Mona Ravenscroft
8- Argentia Pascal
9- Prendolyn Wilcox
10- Lizzie Wychwood
11- Ursula Longbottom
12- Rowena Weasley
13- Aurora Curlyfur
14- Lily May Clearwater
15- Megaera Black (except she's a puppy)

Bonus1- Hermione Bagnold/Smileynetta
Bonus2- 37 (which is less than half, by my count)

Birthday Madness and Kit Completion

Thank you to everyone for all of the birthday wishes, and especially to my splendiforous partner Megaera Black, who surprised me with a generous and awesome gift: a gift card for my favourite bath and body store, Lush. I'm so excited for that, especially since they now have all of their holiday products available.

The birthday itself was pretty uneventful. Dorian got the day off to a less-than-spectacular start by vomiting copiously all over my brand new duvet at half past five in the morning. He is six months old now, and I somehow managed to book his appointment for the Big Snip for the morning of my birthday. He wasn't allowed to have any food after 8 p.m. the night before, and I think that in his hunger he started nibbling on the one plant Eugene and I have here in the room, which caused him to be sick.

Everyone down at Care of Magical Creatures just loved him, though, and one of the first years almost refused to let me take him back to Ravenclaw Tower. He was Very Angry with me for the rest of the day, and hid in his pet carrier while making a point of snuggling up close to Eugene whenever I was around.

I did receive a ball winder and a swift as gifts as well, so now I am all set to get started on my holiday knitting.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

alpaca, alpaca, alpaca

The strangest thing of all happened this week: Eugene and I were actually alone in the common room together, so we chatted about knitting and literature. It was marvellous. I also had an opportunity to do something for extra credit - a field trip to an alpaca farm.

Here's something you should know: I love alpacas. I love their fleece, I love the weird humming noises that they make, and I love the way they look. They just have very sweet eyes, I think. The trip to the farm was a lot of fun, and I only broke my self-imposed yarn diet a little--but then, I don't think diets should count for local yarn.

november 017
Two alpacas frolicking.

november 015
The two guard llamas.

november 011
An alpaca named Raven, who loves humans and human contact, and was described by her owner as being like "a giant dog."

november 006
Including laying down on the floor like this.

november 005
Some of the white alpacas.

november 007
This one kept looking right at me! I think he wants to be my friend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

House Quiz!

What security question does Mr. Weasley ask Mrs. Weasley before he enters the Burrow? What is the answer? What is Arthur's nickname for Molly when they're alone? Mollywobbles

What two names does Mrs. Cole call Dumbledore when she takes him to see Tom Riddle at the orphanage?
Mr. Dumberton and Dunderbore

What is the name of Ginny's Pygmy Puff?

What three D's are needed for apparating?
Destination, Determination, Deliberation

What spell did Harry perform when he was attacked by Dementors?
Expecto Patronum - the Patronus charm

Who did an arrow salute at Dumbledore's funeral?
The centaurs were saluting Dumbledore

What did Dumbledore set on fire to prove to Tom Riddle that he was a wizard?
A wardrobe

What Christmas present did Kreacher give Harry?
Maggots (ugh ugh ugh)

What is on top of the Weasleys' Christmas tree?
A garden gnome disguised as an angel

What was the most popular item at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes?
Nosebleed Nougat (and I quite agree--much nicer than vomiting)

Why did Harry threaten to kick Ron off the Griffindor Quidditch team?
For being a jerk to the others on the team

What happens if you break an Unbreakable Vow?
You die.

Who did Hermoine go to Slughorn's party with?
Cormac McLaggen

Who is Mrs. Weasley's favorite singer?
Celestina Warbeck

Who are the only two people who know the full contents of the prophecy made about Harry and Lord Voldemort?
Harry and Dumbledore

Friday, October 17, 2008


1. What animal does the portrait in the Muggle Prime Minster’s office resemble?
a. Rat
b. Frog
c. Cat
d. Lion

2. What drink does Romilda Vane try to give Harry?
a. Gillywater
b. Butterbeer
c. Pumpkin Juice
d. Elf-Made Wine

3. What is the name of the person who heads the Holyhead Harpies?
a. Gwenog Smith
b. Gwenog Jones
c. Glen Jones
d. Glen Smith

4. How many ‘Exceeds Expectation’ grades does Harry receive in his O.W.L’s?
a. 6
b. 3
c. 5
d. 4

5. What is Professor Sughorn’s favorite candy?
a. Cockroach Clusters
b. Sherbet Lemon
c. Acid Pops
d. Crystallized Pineapple

6. What tattoo is Harry reported to have on his chest?
a. Mermaid
b. Blast Ended Skrewt
c. Hippogriff
d. Unicorn

7. What color robes do the staff at the Weasley’s shop wear?
a. Buttercup
b. Magenta
c. Royal Blue
d. Aqua

8. What is the man outside Flourish and Blotts selling?
a. Amulets
b. Cloaks
c. Wands
d. Hats

9. How much is the skull, which Hermione enquires about at Borgin and Burkes, worth?
a. 9 Galleons
b. 18 Galleons
c. 16 Galleons
d. 12 Galleons

10. What are Professor Slughorn’s initials?
a. H.F.G.
b. H.E.F.
c. H.A.L.
d. H.K.D.

Extra Super Awesome Ravenclaw Bonus Round:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

package preparations and a plethora of post-class ponderings

I have received package one of four that are due to arrive by owl over the next week or so. There is a very small part of me that still gets quite excited whenever I see the owls soaring down the street. (Especially when I know that these packages will be full of yarny goodness.)

Once all of this comes in, I'll have all of the pieces of my package, and it will simply be a matter of assembling everything together.

Someone once told me that the further you went at Hogwarts, the harder the work got, and I have to say that they really weren't kidding about that. I cannot believe the amount of homework we've been given this year. I've hardly had any time for knitting in the last week or so--thankfully sock projects are good for small knitting. On the other hand, I have learned how to transfigure tea cups, and I can solve (some) quadratic equations in's just a pity that there's not more time for the things I enjoy, like spending time in the Common Room, or getting Eugene to teach me new things.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Ravenclaw Scavenger Hunt
1. Alfred with textbook, 2. Alfred with pygmy puffs, 3. Alfred with raven's feather, 4. Alfred with engagement ring, 5. Alfred with Horcrux (Riddle diary), 6. Alfred with broom (and Dorian), 7. Alfred with butterbeer, 8. Alfred with muggle artifact, 9. Alfred wearing house socks

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Things I should explain:
1) Dorian was very hurt that I did not use him as my originality marker so he ate a couple of pygmy puffs and kept trying to horn in on the pictures
2) The engagement ring was given to me by my boyfriend about a week after we started dating four years ago. He was the ticket booth attendant at a historic site, and i was one of the costumed people outside, so he made it out of office supplies.
3) Alfred is the sock monkey incarnation of my boyfriend. They both have one green eye and one brown eye. Alfred's mate's name is Alfrieda, and she has blue eyes like me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hogsmeade Weekend

Hurray! Our first Hogsmeade weekend is coming up, and I can't wait to get there. I've been making plans with Eugene to collect all of the things that we need for the scavenger hunt, so I think we will have to visit most of the stores in the village. Thankfully one of the things we need to photography is Butterbeer, so we won't have to cut short our time at the Three Broomsticks.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

House Quiz #1

(Note to Minee and Wisteria: I'll be working on this for a little bit, so that's why some of the questions don't have answers yet.)

House Quiz

What potion has the strange side effects of excessive singing and nose-tweaking?
The Elixir of Euphoria

What ingredient can be used to counteract the effect of the above side effects?

How much can you get for Acromantula venom?
100 Galleons a pint

What is the most powerful love potion in the world?
Ars Amorentia

What antidote does Harry use to help Ron when he is poisoned by Madam Rosmerta's finest mead?
A bezoar

How does Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes' Owl Order Service get their potions past the security at Hogwarts to their customers?
They disguise them as perfume

What did Draco Malfoy make in Potions class when Professor Slughorn assigned them to make something amusing?
A hiccoughing potion

What spells will not work in an area affected by Instant Darkness Powder?
Lumos (light spells) or fire spells

What are the ingredients for the Draught of Living Death?
Asphodel, Wormwood, Valerian Roots, and a single Sophorous Bean

How much will unicorn tail hair fetch?
10 Galleons a hair

Extra Credit

Answering the following questions are extra credit and will earn you an additional ticket in the drawing for the prize.

Do you prefer to knit or crochet?
I prefer to knit, although sometimes I appreciate the quickness of crochet.

What is your favorite weight yarn to knit/crochet with?
I like worsted/aran weights.

What fiber contents do you most like to knit/crochet with? What fiber contents do you dislike knitting/crocheting with?
I like wool and alpaca. I love Bluefaced Leicester in particular. There's nothing that I really hate, unless it's really harsh on my hands when I'm working with it. My hands tend to be dry to begin with, so if the yarn is rough I really feel it.

How many complete pair of socks have you knit/crochet?

What is your favorite item to knit/crochet?
I like bags and mittens, but I am learning to like socks too.

What is your favorite treat?
Kettle chips.

Do you drink coffee, tea, or both?
Mostly tea, but I do have the occasional cup of coffee.

Do you have an online wish list? If so, where?
I don't have one. I'm always a bit leery of wishlists for things like this--I never want my partner to feel like she HAS to buy me the things that are on it.

How many Ravelry groups are you in?
Apparently 33! I had no idea it was so many.

Is there any special item you have been really wanting, but can't find in your local area?
Um...everything? ;) No LYS for this wizard.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

HSKS6 Quidditch Round One

Trivia and pictures must be posted to your blog before the Snitch is release in order to receive House points. The Snitch will be released on Saturday. Time is still to be determined.

1. At the beginning of the book, Cornelius Fudge is talking to the Muggle Prime Minister. Which member of the Order of the Phoenix has recently been found dead?
a. Hestia Jones
b. Elphais Doge
c. Emmeline Vance
d. Dedalus Diggle

2. What animal does Bellatrix Lestrange kill when she and her sister, Narcissa, are going to see Professor Snape?
a. Owl
b. Fox
c. Rabbit
d. Cat

3. What time does Professor Dumbledore collect Harry from Privet Drive?
a. Midnight
b. 11 p.m.
c. Noon
d. 11 a.m.

4. What did Professor Sluhorn transform into when he was trying to hide from Harry and Professor Dumbledore?
a. An armchair
b. A bed
c. A table
d. A wardrobe

5. What grade did Harry get for Herbology?
a. E – Exceeds Expectation
b. P – Poor
c. O – Outstanding
d. A – Acceptable

6. Herbert Chorley, the Prime Minister’s Junior Minster, has been entertaining the public by impersonating which animal?
a. A hen
b. A duck
c. A lion
d. A squirrel

7. What is Professor Sprout’s first name?
a. Pimmy
b. Pomony
c. Pommy
d. Pomona

8. What is Dumbledore’s idea of ‘a few words’?
a. nitwit, odder, blubber rand tweak
b. nitwit, odder, bubblegum and tweak
c. nitwit, oddment, bubblegum and tweak
d. nitwit, oddment, blubber and tweak

9. Who is Marcus Belby’s famous uncle?
a. Bertie
b. Damocles
c. Tiberius
d. Savage

10. What is Snape’s mother’s name?
a. Helana Prince
b. Eileen Prince
c. Lily Prince
d. Elizabeth Prine

Post pictures to your blogs or link to the pictures from your blog post.




Professor Sprout

Professor Dumbledore

Monday, September 22, 2008

picture day!

I am slow posting today, I know, but Mondays have my heaviest schedule. Double Potions, double Herbology, and double Transfiguration. No wonder I don't want to get up in the morning on Mondays.

I always picture Stuart looking like one of two characters (both of whom are from Disney cartoons, so go figure). The first of these is Wart from The Sword and The Stone.

The second is Roger from 101 Dalmations.

The character of Stuart is based pretty heavily on my own father, though, and I think that Stuart definitely resembles him. This picture is of my father when he was 13, so they are the same age (and anyone who sees this picture thinks that my dad looks pretty much exactly the same 40 years later).

And so do I:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

In which Stuart is revealed as a "losey Suzie"

Well, it's official: Eugene has moved into the boys' dormitory. It's a bit strange to have another body in there, but he's a bit more lively than either Michael or Euan, so I think this will be a fun term. At the very least it is comforting to have some company in knitting, and will hopefully stop those two from taking the piss out of us.

Assuming we can break out of our unlucky mould, that is. He had a pretty terrible day today, and I wasn't much better. I lost my (nearly brand new) set of Knit Picks Harmony Options--I've only had them for a few weeks, and I've had to put a couple of projects on hold as a result. I really hope they turn up soon. :(

He's participating in the Dueling Club (which I am not because I worry that no matter how fast I knit, my owl would not be efficient enough to deliver in a timely fashion) and I have high hopes for him. He will do Ravenclaw proud, no doubt.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Concealment Charm

Yesterday I received my prize for my concealment charm last term. It is so awesome! I got a yarn cutting disk (love this), Floo powder candy, and a keychain sock blocker and mini sock pattern. It was funny because I had just told my knitting guild the night before how much I wanted one of these! I kind of feel like maybe everyone will be getting one for Christmas this year...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

All about me

Potter Name: Stuart Cauldwell (it's a long story)

Rav ID: fineskylark

I am allergic to: dust

Pets that I have: one cat, named Dorian. He's almost six months old and is huge. And a little dumb.

My favorite yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in any weight. I'm not going to lie, though: I just like yarn. Ooooh, I do love Fleece Artist/Handmaiden though.

If you are a Ravenclaw, do you prefer the film colors or the book colors?: I like both. I don't have any real preference.

My favorite flavor: Umm...I like salt. Don't get me wrong, I like chocolate and peppermint and toffee, but I honestly crave salty snacks over anything else. I love kettle cooked chips, especially plain or salt and vinegar.

My favorite holiday: Umm...Hallowe'en. I love dressing up.

I would like to receive a: Surprise kit.

List your favorite brand of needles or hooks, including size and length: I really like Knit Picks Harmony lines. I just got the Options and am totally in love with them, and wouldn't mind picking up more of the fixed circs, especially in 2-3mm sizes.

Is there a brand that you are dying to try?: Not especially. The closest LYS of note is more than an hour and a half away, so I only get there very sporadically. Local yarn purchasing is limited to Wal-mart and Zellers, so I'm generally happy with anything that breaks me out of that mould.

I've participated in HSKS: HSKS4 (Serafina Stafire) and HSKS5 (Stuart Cauldwell), so this is round 3 for me.

Do you have a birthday during this swap? If so which day? Yes - I will turn 27 on November 3rd!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

House elves

There are those who might tell you that the mark of a good house elf is that you don't know that it's there. My family doesn't have one, so I was pretty excited when I found out that Hogwarts has so many working here. They're fascinating creatures. It's unfortunate that the saying about house elves is somewhat true--you really don't know they are here.

I caught a glimpse of one yesterday, though. I'd forgotten one of my books in my trunk, and I'd gone back to find it. She was cleaning up our dormroom, I think because we might be getting a new roommate. She had on a clean green tea towel, worn kind of like a toga, and she was very, very shy. She darted under the bed as soon as I saw her. I could hear her whimpering and muttering to herself down there, so I sat down on the floor and waited for her to come out.

She cried with fear again when she saw that I was still there:

"Oh-oh. You is not to be here, you is not."

"I know," I said. "I forgot my book. I'm sorry that I startled you."

"Nippy is just working, she is," she squeaked. "She is cleaning up after young wizards who are playing in the mud. She knows that they are going too close to the Forbidden Forest, but she does not tell, because she likes the tall wizard. He leaves her snacks sometimes, under his pillowcase."

"The tall wizard?" I asked blankly. A second later, it clicked in. "The tall wizard? You mean Michael, Nippy?" Michael has shot up easily a good ten centimetres over the break.

"Yes, yes, the tall wizard, who is too big for his robes already, he worries that his mother will be angry if he asks for new ones. Nippy wants to fix them but she must wait to ask Professor Dumbledore first." While we'd been talking, she'd gotten up, and started cleaning again, as though it were automatic to her. Which, I suppose, it is.

"And the smaller wizard, he is missing his family...and you, you is liking that girl. Nippy knows all the secrets, even about the Head Girl and the pretty teacher, and tries to help her wizards and her witches when she can, but she is only one elf, and is not doing enough." At this, she seemed to get upset, tears leaking out of her eyes, the shining liquid highlighting their beautiful green.

I wasn't sure what to say, so I muttered, "It's alright, Nippy." She sniffed some more, but kept sweeping the same pile of dirt around on the floor. My eye caught the open lid to my trunk, and a small pile of candy.

"Here, Nippy," I said. "Have a Fizzing Whizzbee. Please?"

She didn't say anything, so I put the candy on my bed, and ran back down to the grounds. The candy was gone when I came back, though, and I can't say for sure, but I think the area around my bed was extra clean.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

return to school

The repairs to Ravenclaw Tower were completed over the summer, and I'm quite happy to be back in my old room here. Michael and Euan ought to be returning to Hogwarts shortly, and I think we might have a new roommate this term as well.

I've decided to keep up with the knitting. My mum was over the moon when she saw the scarf I made for her last term, and I feel as though that particular brand of parental approval might be useful in the future...perhaps if I decide to engage in some underage magic.

The class I'm looking forward to most is Transfiguration, I think. It's supposed to get a lot harder this term, and that's quite exciting. There's nothing a Ravenclaw likes like a challenge.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The truth about Stuart Cauldwell.

From the beginning of the term, people have been wondering who exactly this Stuart Cauldwell character is. Still curious to know?

At the end of HSKS4, Headmistress Wartbobble posted a list of names that she wanted people to avoid choosing in HSKS5. Both my first name and my surname made the list, so I decided to reinvent myself for the next swap. Thus, Serafina Starfire stepped aside, and I created a new persona: Stuart Cauldwell, erstwhile mischief maker of Ravenclaw Tower.

I thought it would be fun to try to experience knitting through the eyes of a young boy, and even more fun to see how long I could pull off the deception. I know some of you were pretty suspicious (particularly Elanor Cadogan) but I did manage to make the whole swap.

I chose Stuart's name very carefully. Stuart is my father's middle name, and Cauldwell is my best friend's maiden name. Stuart comes from the same part of Scotland that my dad is originally from. I did indeed buy my first home and move into it during the course of the swap, and I did adopt a tiny kitten named Dorian (who is not likely to stay tiny for all that much longer, I don't think). As some of you had asked for photos of both, click here for photos of the house, and here for photos of the kitten. Building all of these pieces of the persona out of reality made it a lot easier to keep track of things, and I had SO much fun thinking up situations for Stuart to get himself into (and out of) all term.

None of this would have been possible without the help of the powers that be: Miss Wartbobble, Neila, and Minee were all instrumental in helping me to keep my identity a secret. Both my spoiler and my spoilee helped to keep the secret too; CGP in particular did an excellent job of playing along.

The real me is 26, female, and an English Lit prof at a small university in northern Ontario. I love knitting, alpacas, tea, reading, sewing, writing, baseball, curling, and loads of other stuff. I am very much a Ravenclaw in pretty much every possible way, thought I do have a side streak of Hufflepuff, too. I usually blog at, but it's been a little slow lately because of how busy I've been.

Thank you all for reading this far, and I hope you enjoyed Stuart as much as I did. I hope even more you'll have him back next term!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

in the summertime, when the weather is hot...

Does anyone else have any big plans for the summer? It's been a busy term here at Hogwarts, and we definitely all deserve a holiday before gearing up again for HSKS6. I've not yet decided how much I'll be involved next term; I guess we'll have to see how I make out with the knitting over the break.

I had an owl from my mum yesterday, saying that she wants to go down to Edinburgh during the break, and catch part of the Festival if we can. I'd be quite happy to do that too, as the Fringe Festival will be on at the same time and one of my cousins is working as a Muggle actress, and she's supposed to have a play opening for that.

That, and Edinburgh is just a grand city to spend some time in. The castle, the palace, the penguins at the Zoo...I'll be quite happy to have a fortnight there.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


1. When Hagrid returns to Hogwarts after being sent to see the giants with Madame Maxime, Professor Umbridge questions him on his late return to school. She suspects that Hagrid had been to the mountains, but where does he tell her he has been?
a. Europa
b. Fiji
c North America
d. South of France

2. Professor Umbridge comes to Hagrid's Hut and searches his cabin one evening (as she believes Harry, Ron and Hermione are there visiting him at night when they are not supposed to). When she walks past the place where Harry, Ron and Hermione are hiding under the Invisibility Cloak, Harry holds his breath. True or false?
a. True
b. False

3. A stately-looking witch in an emerald green shawl is one of the members of the Advance Guard who rescues Harry from Privet Drive. What is her name?
a. Emmeline Vance
b. Dorcas Meadowes
c. Amelia Susan Bones
d. Bellatrix Regulax

4. What is the name of the witch who was killed two weeks after the photo of the original Order of the Phoenix was taken?
a. Alice Longbottom
b. Marlene McKinnon
c. Emma Fenwick
d. Dorcas Meadowes

5. Which two fifth year Ravenclaw students does Dumbledore choose to be prefects?
a. Terry Boot and Mandy Brocklehurst
b. Luna Lovegood and Ernie Macmillan
c. Cho Chang and Michael Corner
d. Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil

6. Which house was Rose Zeller sorted into?
a. Gryffindor
b. Slytherin
c. Ravenclaw
d. Hufflepuff

7. What is the color of Murtlap's essence?
a. Pink
b. Peach
c. Yellow
d. It is transparent

8. Name the Ravenclaw girl who became prefect in Harry's fifth year.
a. Hannah Abott
b. Padma Patil
c. Luna Lovegood
d. Marietta Edgecombe

9. According to a healer's portrait at St. Mungo's hospital, which disease was Ron suffering from?
a. Splattergroit
b. Splittygrot
c. Spottygroit
d. Spattergroit

10. Which book did Harry give Hermione for Christmas?
a. "New Theory of Numberology"
b. "A Compendium of Common Curses and their Counter-Actions"
c. "Acheivements in Charming"
d. "Moste Potente Potions"

Picture Scavenger Hunt

Padma Patil

Hannah Abbott


Dumbledore's Army

Cedric Diggory

(Extra 5 pts - What movie will Robert Patterson star in this December?)
(The answer, of course, is Twilight.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

quidditch, exams, and next year's adventure...

It has been a good term for me here at Hogwarts. Headmistress Wartbobble's idea that knitting would keep me out of trouble seems to have been successful, much to Michael and Euan's disappointment. I'm not likely to come out tops in any of our classes (it's a tremendous feat for us Ravenclaws) but I don't think I'll be too far off the mark, either. I've made lots of new friends amongst the other knitters here in the castle, and they've even invited me to take some more advanced classes with them next term. I haven't decided just yet, but I will definitely be thinking about it. I've enjoyed it much more than I would have thought possible.

A big topic of conversation around the castle in the last few days has been dyeing yarn. A lot of the other knitters here are dyers as well, and the things that they come up with our truly magical. I've purchased some natural yarn, and am hoping to try to work some magic upon it soon--it's my treat to myself once the term is over and I'm all done exams.

Dorian the kitten continues to be cute all of the time. When he sleeps, he looks like he has no spine. He curves all over the place. There's one Quidditch match left, and I'm going to kit him out in some Ravenclaw gear...which will hopefully bring us a little luck.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I ran into my swap partner in the library yesterday, and she asked me for some help in researching some foolish divination thing she was interested in. I tried my best to help her, but I don't think I was successful. We were looking at a huge book, and when it fell over on me, she didn't help me up. It took one heck of a Wingardium Leviosa charm to get that thing off me.

I am definitely putting some Pygmy Puffs in her package. (Which I have, miracle of miracles, actually finished, and will be hiring an owl for shortly.)

It turns out the kittens love knitting, especially for eating.

Friday, July 11, 2008

the newest member of Ravenclaw tower

This tiny ball of fur is the newest inhabitant of Ravenclaw Tower. His name is Dorian, and he is ten weeks old. He is ungainly and clumsy, but full of love and purrs, and is quite pleased to be somewhere where so many hands are always looking to pet him.

Michael, Euan, and I are starting to settle into our new quarters here. We've been busier than I had imagined we would be--apparently there is never any shortage of work to be done, and the Headmistress has some odd ideas about things being done without magic, so we've been working hard at getting things into shape.
The kitten likes to help, if by help we mean "sleep often, get frightened by dust bunnies, and eat loads of food".

Ravenclaw Quiz!

1. What is the literal translation of "Albus Dumbledore"?
White Busy Bee

2. "Occlumency" is not, in reality, a word. However, it seems to be derived from a familiar real word that means "to block". What is that word?

3. Remus Lupin, the werewolf, has a name that is a double reminder of his traits. From what languages are his two names derived?
Greek and Latin

4. Percy Weasley's owl takes its name, quite appropriately, from the Greek messenger god. Who is this god?

5. Many of the creatures studied in the Care of Magical Creatures class or encountered by Hogwarts students are based on mythological animals while many others were made up. Name a mythological animal which is studied and/or encourntered by Hogwarts students.

6. Harry is tried for the "crime" of using magic outside Hogwarts by the Wizengamot. From what culture is the name "Wizengamot" derived?
Old Norse

7. The hospital in OotP is called St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Who was the real St. Mungo?

Ooh, great question! He was also known as St. Kentigern, and he was a Scottish holy man who was the founder of Glasgow. He performed four miracles during his life, and his tomb is in Glasgow Cathedral.

8. Dobby the house-elf gets his name from another kind of creature. In English folklore, what is a dobby?
A work horse

9. Mundungus Fletcher is a disreputable little wizard with a penchant for trading in stolen goods. What exactly does mundungus mean?

10. Harry's arch-nemesis throughout OotP is Professor Umbridge. Why is her name appropriate for her?
It's a play on the word 'umbrage', which means pique or resentment at a perceived slight, and it's appropriate for her because she does that quite frequently.

Monday, June 30, 2008

one very lucky guy

Michael, Euan, and I have been in our new quarters for a few days, and it's just starting to feel a little more settled. I cannot believe how much stuff we have, especially given that we really only go to Hogsmeade once in a while, and home less often than that.

I received my first owl in my new quarters today. A very sweet, but very determined express owl brought me my swap kit from Cassandra Grubbly-Plank. CGP outdid herself in making sure I got the package quickly, and what a wonderful surprise it was. I will definitely be nominating her for best swap kit, as this is quite above and beyond what I was hoping for--I'm only sorry it took me so bloody long to find my camera to take the photos of the kit.

She wrote me a very nice letter too, and even sent me a special "tower warming" gift: two male Pygmy Puffs. Well, I don't know who sold them to her, or if they know anything about Pygmy Puffs, but I think it's safe to say that one of them definitely wasn't male, as I am now the proud owner of approximately 37 of the little buggers. It's a good thing they're cute, that's for sure.

To be showered with this kind of generosity is always overwhelming, and never more so than at a time when everything around you is changing. The thoughtfulness of this package means a lot to me; CGP is truly an Outstanding level swap partner.

Tempted Yarn's Glam Grrl in the Rowena Colourway. If I had to pick a favourite part of the whole kit, it would probably be this. My experience in knitting is so limited that I haven't got to do a lot of projects with really interesting or really fun fibres, and I think this qualifies under both.

It's a superwash merino/silk/nylon/silver blend, and you can actually see the silver here. I love the subtle complexity of the colours!

My Puddlemere United bookbag!

And P.U. mug for tea (also filled with different teas!)

Lunchpail tin with candies in the Ravenclaw colours (what a clever idea). Must research charms to prevent tin from being opened by anyone (Michael and Euan) other than me...

Owl and snitch cotton clothes.

Blue and silver Ravenclaw stitch marks, on a neat striped holder.

Mini Sorting Hat, Hogwarts textbooks, and card game

Ridiculously soft and awesome felted bag. (If I picked a second favourite part, it would be this - this bag came out perfectly, as best I can tell, and the felted i-cord handle looks fantastic and sturdy.)

Thunderstorm candle, cat, owl patch, and journal. (I especially enjoy the elastic band, which will keep it in nice condition in my bag.)

Owl knee sock pattern (I think the owl on my cloth comes from here?), Magic Loop book, and 40" circular needle from KnitPicks

Chocolate wand and some delicious dark chocolate.

A lone Pygmy Puff.

All of his buddies.

So, if anyone would like a Pygmy Puff, just let me know!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Not fair...

My mum and dad took advantage of being on holiday last week, and went to visit my dad's sister Nettie, who is living on the Isle of Skye right now. The Isle of Skye is supposed to be one of the nicest parts of Scotland to visit (a fact I cannot confirm, as every time I've gone to visit Nettie it has been raining). My parents got lucky, it seems, as the weather was nice the whole time they were there, and they wound up renting a Muggle car and touring around the island. (Apparently you can "see more" this way, as opposed to travelling by broomstick; I rather think my father was just happy to get his hands on the wheel of a Citroen again.)

As they were driving, my mother noticed a sign that said, "Handspun - turn right," and she compelled my father to turn the car. (A look from her is often more effective than confunding someone, my father has often said.) As they were travelling down the road towards this farm/studio, they saw this:

They got to have a look around at all of the facilities, including all of these fabulous yarns:

I think these ones were silk or silk blends:

The worst part of all this is that my parents didn't buy anything. Apparently they didn't have any Muggle money on them!

(It was at the precise moment that my mother confessed to not buying anything at this shop and I became quite irate with her that I realized I have converted to this knitting thing wholy and completely. I can't wait to try making socks.)