Evil shrubberies and Transfiguration

Clark Tower is a familiar sight (and site) to residents of Madison County. I drove up to the tower last Saturday with my lunch, with the intention of taking in some fresh air and just having time to mellow. From the top, one can see quite a distance, though the view is mostly trees.

Clark Tower in spring

Clark Tower in Spring

But on this particular trip to the tower I noticed something else, something more formidable.

The bridal wreath.

Bridal wreath at the tower

Bridal Wreath at the Tower

Sure, it seems innocuous. Someone told me today that the flowers smell nice. When I get near any bridal wreath, I can’t smell the flowers. I smell some strange musky odor, and then I can’t breathe. There are at least four houses on my block that have this evil shrubbery; one is even right next to the sidewalk. I have to hold my breath when I walk by (and I do walk by often, as that house is halfway between mine and my parents’) and hope the wind doesn’t blow the pollen my way. It’s an absolutely horrific plant. My dad just told me last week that he is sensitive to bridal wreath as well. And here I thought I hadn’t inherited any bloody allergies!

In other news, I applied and was approved to knit a Transfiguration OWL for the the house cup. My assignment is to practice Vanishing and Conjuring charms on my stash: Vanish at least 750 yards of stash yarn and Conjure finished objects.

Transfiguration OWL: ready to start

Transfiguration OWL: at the ready!

I think I’m ready to start knitting my lace scarves — I might even get wild and add beads to one. (And you know, just after I submitted my OWL application, I saw a really beautiful shawl that I might even have enough yarn for. There’s always next time.)

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A life that’s full

I’ve had a life that’s full
Everyone’s been good to me
So fire up that fiddle, boy
And give me one last drink
When the sun comes up
I will leave without a fight
The world is mine tonight

The chorus of a song I love right now, One Last Drink by Enter the Haggis. (This video is pretty cute.) The song just makes me smile, and I can’t help listening to it over and over. I last heard it on Cast On, one of my favorite knitting podcasts. I’m really becoming a fan of Irish-y bands. I’ve been enjoying a Flogging Molly album for a few years, and have recently been made aware of The Waterboys — we’ve been learning A Man Is In Love for the band. (Oh, the band. I’ll have to elucidate that some time. But I’m supposed to learn the tin whistle at some point, which will be fun, I think. I haven’t played an instrument since I gave up the flute after seventh grade.)

Challah is a workout when you don't have a mixer.

Muggle Studies homework was fun, and reminiscent.

My fingers were really aching yesterday morning; as you can see from the photo above, I’ve been “having my way”, so to speak, with some kitchen cotton. These washcloths were actually for the HPKCHC — that is, the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup over on Ravelry. The cup is so much fun, and I’ve met a lot of interesting people along the way.

I knit the above for the Muggle Studies class. Here’s what I wrote when I turned in my homework:

When I was younger, my Muggle father and I had television time on Friday nights — a sort of Muggle bonding ritual. My particular favorite “show” was only five minutes long, and aired right before my father’s favorite, which always lasted long after I had fallen asleep.

Back in those days, I’d eagerly await Jack Horkheimer‘s appearance on a show then called Star Hustler (since re-named Star Gazer, at the incessant cries of Muggles). Debussy’s Arabesque still makes me pause in wonder at the amazing astronomical events right above our Earth-bound heads. “Keep looking up!” he’d say at the end of each show. I never really stopped.

So in tribute to those early days of exposure to astronomy and science fiction, I present a trio of washcloths representing these shows: Star Hustler, Dr. Who and Star Trek (though my true favorite will always be TNG).

Now I find that it’s late and I’m quite awake. It’s a good thing there are some nice stargazing opportunities this weekend. I may go take advantage soon, before I crawl into bed and attempt to sleep. (Of course, there are a few freshly-downloaded podcasts calling my name, so it may be a while.)

Fresh.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who started a blog. Many years later, she found she outgrew the blog, and wanted a clean start, as pure as the driven snow.

Today, she gets her wish.

As such, I feel I should post a photo of some recently completed knitting. I called it The Masque of the Pink Death. The pattern was provided free via Splendor Knitting; I found it on Ravelry.

Challah is a workout when you don't have a mixer.

The Masque of the Pink Death — apologies to Mr. Shakespeare.

The staggering work of genius, that pattern. It was fun and fast to knit. And I used baby yarn that had a bit of sparkle. What more could be better?