Monday, January 20, 2014

The Mrs. Lovegood Memorial Mad Scientist Prize

The Mrs. Lovegood Memorial Mad Scientist Prize is highly sought after within the House of Ravenclaw. It is named after a character in the Harry Potter series. Mrs. Lovegood was a very talented witch who liked to experiment with spells. One day a spell went horribly wrong and she died in front of both her husband and her only child Luna.  So this award was created to reward those Ravenclaws who dared to venture out of their comfort zone and attempt the daring in their crafting.

During the Fall 2013 term of the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup, I left my home of Slytherin for a term abroad in Ravenclaw.  My Herbology OWL for the term was to be a heavily cabled seamed sweater which was a first for me.  Well, I was happily knitting along when I noticed that my cables didn't quite look right.  So I compared them to the cables in my little swatch and that is when I discovered that some of the cables were traveling the wrong direction.  Of course the easy thing to do was blame a certain Illinois Crew Chief for being so distracting but even he wouldn't believe that excuse and would just tell me that it was my lack of focus that caused the miss-directing cables.  He would be right.


So there were a few options I could have gone with in this situation.  The first was to just ignore the miss-directing cables and call my mistake "a design element".  As in "I totally meant to do it that way".  But it would have bugged the crap out of me every single time I looked at those cables.  If I am going to spend hours and hours knitting a sweater then I want to be happy with the results.  Ignoring the problem and calling it a "design element" was not the answer.

The next option was just to frog (or completely undo) the knitting all the way back so I can correct the mistake.  I wasn't quite ready to do that option.  So I did the next best thing and just concentrated on the section with the mistakes.  And here is the result... a 29 stitch cable section dropped back 48 rows and looking like a massive amount of yarn spaghetti.  Not every knitter is capable of doing this feat.  It requires a great amount of patience.  But as far I was concerned, it had to be done.  So I just took it one stitch at a time and one row at a time.


And finally after about 1 1/2 to 2 hours... I was rewarded with cables going in the right direction.  It was totally worth the time to fix.  This incident reminded me to stay focused.  I really didn't want to have to do it again.


I am pleased to say that the sweater was completed in time (it had a 3 month deadline).  It does fit perfectly and I am thinking that I need one in blue.  I haven't picked the shade out yet.


And that award I was talking about.  Well, here it is.  So yes, it is possible for a visiting Slytherin to win a totally awesome Ravenclaw award.  I am still quite proud of it.


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