Thursday, January 21, 2010

True confessions of a geek, who also knits.

Yep, that's me.

I've been enjoying a guilty pleasure for about 21 days now, that I now have to share.

I am currently enrolled in a Hogwarts Knitting and Crochet House Cup competition. I'll give you a minute to absorb that.

I'm competing as a first-year Gryffindor classmate (go Gryffindor!).

Yes, it's funny, yes, it's hilarious... but it's fun. So, why not?

January 1 was the start of the my first term (year). Each term is really only 3 months, with 1 month off to recharge, and then we start another term.

To participate the only REQUIREMENT is you have to turn in 1 piece of homework per month. (I've completed five and am working on the sixth tonight). There are six classes per month (yep, I'm an over-achiever, tackling every class this month). Each assignment turned in earns points towards the house cup; more points are given for exceptional projects, for using house colors (red and gold for Gryffindor; but I can also use Purple for Hogwarts Unity color (wherever that came from???)).

Then, there's the opportunity to also take an OWL (examination). First years and Second years are only allowed to apply for one owl a term. But, in our third year, we can try for two. To qualify for an OWL, you have to come up with a project, supplies, plan, etc for a large project that would NEVER be able to be completed in a month. In fact, if you complete it within a month, you're asked to do MORE or you don't get your OWL awarded to you. There are over a dozen different classes you can get an OWL in, however, you can only complete an OWL for a given class once in your time at Hogwarts (i.e., I can't keep doing the same thing every term.) AND, you have to get pre-approval before you can start working on your OWL.

Yet more points can be earned by playing Quidditch - I'm a competitor, but not given a regular *position*.... the positions match the game; but their assignments include things like turning in lists of competitors, making sure everyone has what they need to compete, etc. This month, we had to organize some information on the web site; next month, we have to create a ?uniform? (most likely knitted earings according to the latest gossip) that we can where when we compete in an *olympic* competition, not sure what month three will entail exactly.

My classes this month include:

Transfiguration - actually more web site organization
DADA - make something that relates to a new years resolution that you CAN meet - I made a shopping tote (done in red & gold btw)
Charms - make something ticklish or that will make the instructor laugh - *top secret item; I can't disclose what I made yet
Arithmancy - make something that demonstrates the Droste effect (images repeated within itself) or a spiral - I designed a hot pad that had rectangles nested inside of rectangles (again, done in red & gold.... man, I need to change all my color schemes if everything is going to red & gold .... lol)
Divination - palmistry - I had to identify my palm type (I'm a fire palm) and produce something that will protect my palms.... I made fingerless mitts that have owls on them (owls? you say? Why? -- because the Gryffindors have been challenged to add an Owl project to an assignment - ok, I'm a total geek).

Last class left to do is Potions. I'm supposed to make either something Dangerous (and interpretation on what is dangerous is pretty non-literal) or something that Dumbledor would love. Lot's of lemon-drop colored socks are being made. I had planned on making a stuffed dinosaur for Alex per his request; however, I only have 10 days left to the month, and it'll take more than a month to complete a dinosaur.... so I'm looking at my list of things I'd like to make. AND, the only thing I have right now, is to make some baby hats and booties. While it is hard to make the jump that baby hats and booties are dangerous, I'm pretty sure I can come up with a creative story about how making such things tends to make oneself vulnerable to the dreaded and deadly Baby Fever that makes its rounds occasionally (ever notice how coworkers all get pregnant at the same time???). I'm still working on the story, but I'm sure I can turn it into a tale of woe and worry and needing special magical protection to prevent me from catching that dangerous fever.

AND I've been approved for my OWL for my first term. I've been given permission to apply for a Transfiguration OWL; my project is to knit a large tote bag (to carry my knitting, of course) and then to felt it. I've never intentionally felted anything; and it's been a LONG, LONG time since I've felted anything even by accident. Basically you make something out of wool that isn't intended to be put in the washer and intentionally put it in the washer ... preferably with something like sneakers or tennis balls to REALLY abuse the heck out of it; it will shrink; then you dry it over a "form" to make sure it retains its shape... and voila; something has been transfigured from one form into another - true magic ( I hope!!).

AND, of all this? I only feel a slight bit silly. For the most part, I find it funny. And even funnier, is when I talk to other "normal" people about it. The looks I get when they found out I turned in my homework and what it was and why???? Priceless!

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