Friday, September 27, 2013

Leaky Cauldron Sign Square

While working on my Harry Potter Double Knit Blanket, I've been stuck without a few patterns I wanted to include. One of the most iconic is the Leaky Cauldron sign, which shows a witch stirring a cauldron with a crack in it. I was able to find a very large cross-stitch chart for the sign (which I totally saved for later), but I wasn't able to find a smaller version. Once I started trying to make it myself, I found out why!

There are many curves and details in the original sign which can't really be captured in a gridded pattern this small. So I exaggerated some of the elements like the crack in the cauldron and the witch's nose and chin to create something workable.

The PDF pattern is now available for downloading on Ravelry!

Here is my finished square:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hogwarts Letter Square

I designed this simple pattern as a part of my Harry Potter Double Knit Blanket, and I would like to share it with the world! I thought I'd be able to find a chart for something as simple as a letter, but I was unable to find one anywhere.I used Caron Simply Soft Solids for this pattern with US 7 (4.5mm) needles, but if you are making a blanket stick with your current yarn and needle size.

Update: this pattern is now available as a PDF download on Ravelry.

Here is my completed square:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Distant Memory

I'm always on the lookout for good deals on polish (and everything else too). I like to think it's because I'm a smart consumer and not because I'm cheap. =P So while at the drug store one day for something totally different, I picked up a bottle of "Spoiled by Wet n Wild" polish. It was $1.99, so there wasn't much to lose. Plus, this is the first cheap polish I've seen with the flat, tapered brush I fell in love with while trying out Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure.

I got Spoiled in "Distant Memory," which is a pretty teal in the bottle. It dries a little on the matte side, so I had to put a top coat on it.

No Top Coat

Inside, it looks like a bluer teal close to a peacock blue. But outside, it transforms into a teal on the greener side and is really beautiful. One of these days I'll actually think about taking pictures outside, but this one is definitely more stunning in the sun. Here's the picture with a top coat, which doesn't look that much different using an iPhone camera, but I promise it's like night and day in real life.

With Top Coat

Liquid Crystal

I'm playing a bit of catch up today... I grabbed some of the China Glaze polishes from Sally that have holographic glitter in them. I've been looking at them for a while now, but wasn't interested at $7 a pop. At $3.50 a bottle, I'm more interested. ;)

The first one I tried is Liquid Crystal, which is a light blue base with big pieces of glitter in it in every color under the sun (purple, blue, red, green, gold, and silver). The fine glitter in the polish is holographic, and depending on the light looks either purple or silver. Both looked pretty good, and I loved staring at it and moving my hands around to make it change color. Maybe I just have too much free time! In this picture (sorry for the lighting!), the holo glitter looks silver. I couldn't get a good picture of it looking purple on my phone...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quidditch Rings Square

Sorry I haven't been around much lately... I've been doing a ton of other things and haven't had much time to post. But I've been planning my Harry Potter Double Knit Blanket of Awesome, and I realized there were some key items missing from charts I could find online. One of these was the rings/goals from Quidditch, which I figured would be an easy one to figure out. So I spent a little time today charting out goal posts, and this is the result.

Update: This pattern is now published and available as a PDF on Ravelry.
Alternate versions of the chart not included in the final pattern are still included below.

Alternate Version 1: 45x65, 3 rows of border

Alternate version 2: 45x65, 5 rows of border on the sides and 6 rows on the top/bottom

Alternate version 2: 45x60, 5 rows of border on the sides and 6 rows on the top/bottom

Here is a picture of my finished double knit square:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

White on White

I've been so into the Olympics that I haven't posted that much recently. That and I haven't accomplished anything worth writing about! But I was scrolling through pictures on my phone and found something I had forgotten to blog about.

I painted my nails with China Glaze's White on White last week so awful results. First of all, I think Liquid Paper (as in correction fluid, white out, etc.) would have done a better job. White on White is watery and runny (my least favorite kind of polish to deal with), so I had to do 3 coats to get it looking good. Add that to the top coat and base coat (for a grand total of 5 coats), and I was done with nails for the day. Then I stuck my finger in something not 5 minutes after all of that and messed one up.... So I took it all off and gave up on White on White. Maybe it will be good for a French manicure one day, but I'm never painting my nails completely white with this again.

Here's a photo. Sorry for the yellow lighting, but I took this with no flash in a room with a sorry excuse for light bulbs.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hermione's HBP Hat Take 3

I don't know if  you've noticed, but I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. It might be more accurate to say I'm a huge Hermione fan though! I made her cable and lace hat from the 6th movie for the third time over the last couple of days. This time, I made it grey (since that's the color it's supposed to be) and used bigger needles to make it bigger for my ginormous head. You might have guessed, but I love it!

The hat is made with cotton blend yarn so I really hope it won't stretch out much. It's the perfect size the way it is now. The others fit, but they weren't loose enough to be comfortable. I have enough yarn to make another with some left over, but I'm hoping to make matching fingerless gloves someday. I'm taking a break from knitting for a couple of days because I'm burnt out!

Monday, July 23, 2012


I have been working on this Thistle Cap, and I don't like it. I don't know if it's the cheap yarn I'm using (Red Heart) or my brain messing up the pattern, but I hate it. And it looks so good in the pictures! I didn't do all the ribbing on the bottom and was going to opt for more pattern repeats, but I just finished it as is.

OMG, Blogger let me upload a horizontal picture!! =P Anyways, I've got 2 more hats to start and finish in 8.5 days for my OWL. I don't think I'll be able to do it since everything is so busy right now, but I'm going to try!

Purple Posy

I tried another one of Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure a couple days ago, but forgot to post it! This one was also on clearance at Target, so I think the shade is being discontinued. It's called "Purple Posy" and it's a bright red-purple creme. I did 2 coats as recommended, but I still put a top coat on. I tried it without a base coat this time, so we will see how it works. I think Parrot might have lasted longer without either the base or top coat because the clear polish started chipping first. I'm guessing it was the base coat, so this is my little experiment to find out.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Ok, I'll admit it... I am a sucker for a clearance bin. So when I saw some polishes on clearance at Target, I grabbed a couple. I liked this one so much that I went back and bought another in the same color. Plus a few more colors, of course!

This is a new brand for me... It's Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. The color is called "Parrot," but it reminds me more of a margarita than a bird. Green is one of my favorite colors, but I'm more partial to blue nail polish because honestly they make better shades in blue. But this green, oh man, this green... I love it! This is one of two greens ever that have gotten my seal of approval, so take note! And I think this one is seasonal/discontinued, so go snatch them up at Target while you still can!

So you've got that I love the color... But I also love the brush! It's thick and flat, so two swipes covers my bigger (thumb) nails and one covers the smaller ones. This can have a tendency to pool polish on the sides of the nail, but once I got used to it I was a pro. Another great thing is that the end of the brush is rounded, so the polish easily takes the shape it's supposed to at the base of your nail. It's great for me to have that idiot-proofed, because I suck at getting that rounded base and I'm too lazy to go back and fix it.

I did two coats as recommended, but I topped it with Seche Vite and used Seche Clear as a base. I know it says not to, but I've seen a lot of reviews where people tried to use it as written and it chipped like a mofo. I've been wearing it for a couple of days now and it still looks great minus the typical edge wear, so no problems here! This picture was taken when I only had one coat on, but you get the idea:

It probably looks more yellow to you than it does in real life. I promise.