Archive for the ‘Gryffindor sock’ Category

The Gryffindor Sock Goes on a Bender

July 4, 2007

While most Gryffindor paraphenalia is stuck at school all day, going to lessons and arguing with Slytherins and defeating dark wizards and such, my Gryffindor socks have had an exciting existence.  They’ve been to Disneyland, they went on a very exciting band trip to Banff, they went to Cuba, and they’ve basically been living the exciting sock life.  In fact, a little too exciting.  In the last few days that we were in Cuba, the sock got a little too high on life. 

It started, innocently enough, with some wine with dinner. Not too unreasonable, right? They’re just coming right around to your table, offering up some wine.


Nobody was too concerned. And then it’s only natural when you’re spending a few hours in the lobby bar that the sock would want a little something. After all, those fruity drinks are very refreshing.


But pretty soon, the sock was downing the blender drinks. And we all know how the blender drinks work. You can never have just one.


And then the sock got a good look at the pool.


It decided it wanted to go for a little late night swim, and it completely ignored the no diving sign.


It was content, after that, to lounge by the pool for a while, enjoying the view.


But then it got a little too much into the spirit of things. And I suppose I should have seen it coming. After all, we were in Cuba. But it was still a shock to see this on the beach.


I guess I can’t blame it too much for this one. Those mojitos were ridiculously good. (Man, I could really go for one of those right now.)


Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to take into consideration that it was, you know, a sock, and therefore not exactly endowed with outstanding alcohol tolerance. And that was a lot of drinks in one evening for a not even finished sock.


Poor sock. A cold shower took the edge off.


And a hot bath brought back some of its good spirits.


The sock briefly toyed with a midnight foray into the ocean, but had limited bathing suit success, despite Chantal kindly lending it a bathing suit. (Actually, Chantal wasn’t home when the sock stole her bathing suit, but fortunately Chantal is a very tolerant friend and roommate who doesn’t even look at you funny when you tell her the sock stole her bathing suit.)


The next morning was looking pretty ugly. The sock woke up groggy and grouchy, and didn’t want to leave the room. It was a beautiful day, so I can see why the sock was a little hesitant to face the sunshine. So we let it rest for a while.


And then, promising that the light wasn’t THAT bright, took it outside.


It wouldn’t leave the little hut, though, and proceeded to sleep by the pool for most of the day.


Overall, I think the sock wasn’t so sorry to be going home. Cuba had taken its toll on poor Gryffindor. So it was happy to be heading home, although a little nervous about the effect the flight would have on its stomach.


After so many thrilling adventures, I was a little concerned that the Gryffindor sock would find life around Edmonton a little dull. (I was also concerned that I would find life around Edmonton a little dull, and I must admit, I do still miss Cuba.) I left the socks alone for a while, finishing up numerous baby items (one of which I TOTALLY forgot to take photos of, because I am a doofus), finishing my Central Park Hoodie (Yes, it is DONE, and photos are coming soon!), doing other such things.

But then I remembered that the Gryffindor Socks had a purpose. July was going to be THEIR month. A movie release and a book! Two more perfect occasions to wear these socks will never happen. So the socks had to be finished. After all, what else could I possibly wear with my “Trust Snape” shirt that’s in the mail right now? (It better get here in time for the movie. I am looking forward to arguing with people about it, because he is SO CLEARLY NOT A DEATH-EATER ARGH!) The socks had to be finished.

So this morning, I grafted the toes. And I pulled them on, and went into the yard for one last photo shoot with the travelling Gryffindor socks. (Note: July is not prime wool sock season. I suffer for this blog!) And here, in all their glory, are my Gryffindor Socks. Please ignore my pasty legs.





These are, of course, knit in Sunshine Yarns Gryffindor Stripe, made by the inimitable Dani. Knit on a size 1 Addi Lace needle, with 60 stitches around, a basic heel flap toe down sock. (I don’t use a pattern any more.) They fit like a glove, and they are my most favouritest socks ever.

Bring on the book, baby.


The Gryffindor Sock’s Cultural Tour of Cuba

May 28, 2007

Holy crap, Cuba was awesome.  So, so awesome.  Everyone has been totally depressed since we got back on Saturday and we’ve all been swanning around complaining about the lack of pre-lunch rum and the severe shortage of cabana boys.  (There were some days when I had three drinks before lunch.  They had bananas in them!  That’s breakfast!)  It really was ridiculously fun and unbeliveably relaxing. I read three and a half books and a magazine. I actually didn’t knit as much as I was expecting to, but I did get a large chunk of one of the fronts of the Central Park Hoodie done as well as several rows on Mountain Peaks.

And, of course, there was the Gryffindor sock.

Now, if you want to be strictly accurate, the sock isn’t quite as well travelled as it appears. On the Cultural Tour of Britain , I was knitting Gryffindor socks for Beth. The Cultural Tour of Disneyland featured the Gryffindor socks that I’m knitting for myself, which was the pair that came along on this trip. Still, both pairs are doing much better than most of my knitting! Very well travelled for a sock, wouldn’t you say?

(If you want to see some of the photos that feature things other than the sock, go on through to my flickr account. And if you think my photos are kind of lame, you’re not wrong. Fortunately, I was with 20 other people and they all have tons of photos. Leave me a comment if you want to see some of those and I’ll send you some links.)

After a couple of days at the resort, we took a catamaran trip that featured the following incredibly awesome event (no sock, I know, sorry, but this is too good not to post.):

Sarah with dolphins

Why yes, I am squealing like a complete dork in this photo! Thank you for noticing. That was so freaking cool I still can’t really believe it.

Right, on to the sock.

On Wednesday, we all headed to Havana for a tour. It was a two hour bus ride from the resort to the city, so I was very glad to have my sock with me. I actually hadn’t planned to bring it at all, but then as I was literally going out the door (Jamie was putting my other bag in the car), I grabbed it in a panic, not wanting to be small project-less in case of long drives. This proved to be a good decision.

One of the coolest stops on our tour was the old Capitol building. It was designed in the style of the U.S. Capitol, and inside is the world’s third largest indoor statue. It’s of Athena. (I think.) Here’s me and the sock checking it out.


I really am holding the sock. See?


On the floor in the exact centre of the room was a replica diamond of some diamond that was very important to Cuba. (It should not be news to any regular readers that I’m really bad to actually paying attention to detail on this sort of thing. It was weird to travel without Jamie, because he always knows this shit and tells me later. I’m feeling weirdly uninformed about some of this stuff.) Anyway, the sock decided to check out the diamond.


While it was down there, it noticed the very impressive ceiling and decided it wanted a photo with that. I happily obliged, as the ceiling was really cool. I’m a bit concerned that all these extravagant holidays are turning the sock into a bit of a prima donna, though. Most of my knitting is happy if it gets to come to work with me.


The ceilings in the two hallways that flanked the dome weren’t too shabby either.


The sock and I both agreed that what my house is really missing is one of these on the front door.


Don’t you think? It would add that certain something, don’t you think? Or maybe we need one of these just outside the door.


Right after Kristy took that, someone came and yelled at me for sitting on the step. Apparently their statues have personal space issues. So we moved down the steps for some more photos. We took a shot with the three roomies:


Me, Chantal, and the sock. We got along very well. Chantal is also a knitter so she was quite good at telling the sock how marvellous it was and other such things. She also lent it a bikini, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here you see the sock admiring the sights from the steps of the Capitol. Those little yellow blobby things are the really neat little cabs that they have.


The sock also insisted on being included in some group photos. Aren’t my friends obliging?


After a stop at a cigar shop, where the sock stayed in my bag since it was MAYHEM, and I bought two cigars and some rum (so cheap!) and some coffee, we headed to Revolution Square. Here I am with the sock checking out the José Martí Monument designed by Enrique Luis Varela, and the sculpture by Juan José Sicre. (Yes, I had to look that up.)


Here we are with Kristy in front of the really cool monument to Che Guevara. Kristy has a bit of a crush on him (he is pretty hot, as revolutionaries go), but I mostly just like his hat.


So the sock did pretty well taking in the sights and culture of Havana. Unfortunately, the sock then went on a bit of a bender at the resort. But that is a post for another time. Stay tuned for further exploits of the Gryffindor sock in Cuba!


April 30, 2007

Well, I survived chaperoning Jamie’s band trip.  Barely.  I came to the conclusion some time on day two that I’m too old for that shit.  Or, more specifically, I’m too old to be all “woo band trip!” like the kids all were, but too young to be totally accustomed to getting no sleep like all the parent chaperones. 

I had all these grand plans to blog from the trip, and take photos of my sock around town, but I just didn’t have the time nor the energy.  Which is too bad, because Banff was beautiful until yesterday, when a massive snow storm hit.  Freaking Alberta.  I also had grand plans to get some work done, but there was not a single solitary place that I wasn’t surrounded by several dozen and usually several hundred teenagers.  I am very happy to be home where the only noise is the clock ticking.  (Well, and the neighbour a few doors down absolutely SCREAMING at her child.  I went outside to take photos for this entry and I felt like I was intruding onto a very ugly situation.  It was quite uncomfortable.)  There was just constant, constant noise for four days straight and it was exhausting. 

 Fortunately, despite the endless melee, I did have quite a lot of knitting time.  I packed the same three projects that came along to Disneyland: the Gryffindor socks, the Mountain Peaks Shawl, and the Central Park Hoodie.  Poor old Mountain Peaks once again got completely ignored – I swear I will make some real progress on that thing one of these days.  Central Park, however, was much more successful, and yesterday on the bus I finished the back.  Hooray!

Central Park Back

I cannot for the life of me get a decent photo of the colour. It’s a really bright, bold green, very springy and cheerful and apparently very trendy, because I got a ton of compliments on it from the kids on the trip. (The pattern also got major thumbs up from them.)

Most days, though, I didn’t bring my backpack into Banff, so I brought along trusty Gryffindor for my daily knitting. These were also a huge hit with the kids, who were very impressed at the idea of Harry Potter socks. Who knew my knitting was so cool?

As you can see, good progress is being made and I should finish them pretty soon and be able to go back to Rachel’s socks. (sorry, Rachel!) (memo to self on Rachel’s socks – 64 stitch cast on with a decrease down to 60 over the course of the leg.)

Gryffindor Progress

This didn’t get brought along, as I was close enough to finished that it wasn’t worth hauling, but here’s a sneak peek at the body of a baby sweater that I finished last night. It’s the Daisy pattern from Knitty, and it’s not for the next baby in line but I needed a change of pace so I started in on this. It’s a super cute raglan cardigan, and I really like the pattern. Seed stitch edging, raglan sleeves – pretty straightforward and adorable as well as gender neutral – all good things. I need to get some good buttons for it.

Daisy Body

I’m already halfway through the first sleeve. Ah, baby sized things, how I love you.

So here’s my challenge over the next few weeks. I leave for Cuba in 18 days. I plan to bring my shawl and a pair of socks along with me. Before I leave, I’d like to finish the baby sweater (no problem), the Gryffindor socks (should be manageable), and the Central Park Hoodie (unlikely, but it’s good to have goals). I need to finish up the transcribing I have to do, buy a bunch of stuff for Cuba including a new bathing suit, and clean the freaking house. In 18 days. Care to place any bets?

Luckily for morale, the weather has majorly improved, yesterday’s mountain snowstorm and the crapload of rain that was waiting for us in Edmonton aside. Not only is that actual green grass in those photos up there, but the tree next to the garage? Looks like this.


Hallelujah. I love spring.

The Gryffindor Sock’s Cultural Tour of Disneyland

April 10, 2007

I’m home. Sigh. I had all these plans about blogging while I was gone, but (a) the wireless was REALLY inconsistent in our room, (b) I was really freaking tired whenever I was in our hotel room and was usually asleep, and (c) I was barely in our hotel room. We also didn’t take very many photos. (I know. It was weird, and I’m a little annoyed – I have NO PHOTOS of Jana and only one of Ben. But they have a few photos, so I’ll get those from them and will put them up at some point.) Some days we didn’t want to haul the camera around, and Jamie forgot it once, and Jamie usually had the camera and isn’t an obsessive photo taker of people like I am. Anyway.

Fortunately, the first day I was there by myself, which left lots of time for a cultural tour with the Gryffindor sock! As you may recall, my first pair of Gryffindor socks for my sister went on a Cultural Tour of Britain last summer, so I decided that my own pair would be perfect to take to Disneyland. (I’m not knitting many socks at the moment, so I need to get these started so I can have them for a Harry Potter intensive July.)

Let me set the scene for you. On Tuesday, I got out of bed at 5:50am in order to leave home at about 6:20 or so for an 8:00 flight. When I opened the door to take a photo for the blog (even at 5:50am I’m thinking of you!), this is what I saw:


Yeah. We had to have the plane de-iced before we could take off, so we were a bit late leaving and arriving. Fortunately, the flight was excellent. I had my own personal TV, so I got to watch The Holiday, which I LOVED. I knit on my Central Park Hoodie, which I’d packed as my secondary plane knitting. However, it was too early and I was too sleepy for Mountain Peaks, so I got all the way to the decreases on the back of CPH. Once we got to LAX, my luggage arrived fairly quickly (I’d tied some extra CPH yarn on the handles for easier recognition, since it’s such a bright green), and I was off to catch the shuttle. Which unfortunately took a while, but eventually I made it to my hotel, where I checked in, dumped my stuff, changed my shoes, grabbed my sock, and headed to the park.

The yarn I left in my main pouch of my purse, and the needle I tucked into a well-hidden part of my purse. I’d heard conflicting things about knitting in Disneyland (the official word is “sorry, no,” but as I quickly learned nobody actually seems to give a rat’s ass.) I had a variety of plans for how to get around this, but nobody even blinked at it even when they laid eyes on it, so my carefully planned subterfuge was totally unnecessary. Upon our arrival in the parks, the sock stayed in my purse for a while. After all, it wasn’t even in sock form yet, so it felt it should keep to itself for the first few hours.

The parks were really busy, so I got a fast pass for Buzz Lightyear and headed to California Adventures, where I rode Soarin’ Over California (one of my favourites, but the sock is apparently afraid of heights so it stayed stowed in the underseat compartment.) in the singles line, where I only waited about 10 minutes as compared to the 100 minute wait in the regular line (and man, was that satisfying!), and then we headed to Grizzly River Run where we both got wet. The sock was only a little damp thanks to my very reliable MEC bag, but it was still quite disgruntled. Fortunately, it was really warm that day and we both dried off quickly.

After that, I got another fast pass in California Adventures and headed back over to Disneyland. I went to get in line for the train, and when I realised how slowly it was moving, decided it was the perfect moment to cast on for my sock. I had a convenient spot on a bench, and made excellent progress on the cuff while chatting with two little girls who liked my green toenail polish. (I got a pedicure in anticipation of wearing sandals a lot.) The train finally showed up, and I went and got a fast pass and rode a few rides. I ended up waiting for the train AGAIN at the Toon Town station, by which point I managed to finish the cuff. (That was seriously the longest wait of the whole trip. For the train!)

After I had some dinner, I had a bit of time before my fast pass was valid, so the sock and I went on a photo shoot. It was hilarious. I couldn’t believe more people weren’t giving me weird looks, but I guess I’m still not the weirdest person in Disneyland.

Our first stop was a visit with one of my absolute favourites when I was a kid – Mary Poppins! I happened to see her and Bert show up, so there was virtually no line to see them. I wasn’t really bothered enough to wait in lines for characters, but with no line, I couldn’t resist…


(As always, click on photos if you want to see larger versions.)

They were very nice and I actually had quite a good chat with them. They were very accomodating about the sock.

Next, we went to visit several other characters, but in a slightly different form.

There was Pluto


(and unrelated to the sock, I hope you’re appreciating the difference in weather, here. Flowers! Warm sunny weather! I weep, I weep. It’s still snowing here today.)





and Ariel.


We then wandered over to the castle, where one of the Disneyland photographers kindly took a photo of us, again without blinking. All of this nonchalance about a person taking photos of a partially knit sock really makes me wonder what kind of weird shit they get asked about on a regular basis.


We also saw some REALLY cute ducklings in the moat. They were teeny!


(I do have better photos of the ducklings but they don’t have the sock in them. They kept swimming away if I was juggling the sock and the camera, so I put the sock away for a few minutes to take pictures of the duckies.)

Around the side of the castle is Snow White’s wishing well, and the sock wanted to make a wish. Luckily, I had a quarter.


So the sock got to make a wish. (And although you can’t see them, there are other people around the wishing well. Didn’t even blink at a ball of yarn and a sock holding a quarter while someone took a photo.)


Next, the sock decided to storm the castle!


Unfortunately for the sock, I’m pretty sure that door is fake. So the sock decided instead to fulfill its lifelong dream of being a princess.


(No, I didn’t buy my sock a tiara. I took that photo in the store. Although it does look awfully cute, doesn’t it?)

Perhaps then, if it has managed to become a princess, the sock is the rightful ruler of Britain!


Nope, doesn’t look like it.


The sock decided another route to fame and fortune might be more successful. Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y S-O-C-K!


No? I don’t think they’d embroider Mr. Sock on the back of a pair of ears even if I had been willing to purchase it a pair. (Which I did not.)

Perhaps, then, the sock could get a few tips about becoming invisible from the master! Can you spot the sock?


Anyway, the sock decided to abandon fame and fortune and concentrate on the rides. It thought about the teacups


but eventually decided to start with Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters!


(I know, it’s an awful picture, but the line was moving really fast and it is HARD to take a photo with one hand while holding up a sock with the other and moving up a ramp while also trying to listen to your instructions for defeating Zurg!)

The sock got its own blaster


and in the photo you can email yourself, the sock is heavily featured, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be working right now. (Seriously, the sock was doing the blasting in the official photo.)

Next up was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Since I’m such a fan of it, the sock was determined to ride despite the fact that it clearly wasn’t tall enough.


But it managed to smuggle itself in inside my purse. It put down the lap bar


but it clearly wasn’t doing much.


So the sock rode in the little pouch for loose objects. It still seemed to have a good time.

We went back to the hotel at that point, and although we went back in the evening, I didn’t take any more photos, since it was dark and really crowded. The sock did get to ride Pirates of the Caribbean (where flash photography is prohibited), Space Mountain (where I was too busy going “wooooo!” to take the camera and sock out, and it totally wouldn’t have worked!), and wander around, although unfortunately the fireworks were cancelled that night. We had a good time together! I got quite a bit knit.

Unfortunately, after that first day, I wasn’t by myself anymore. (That part is not unfortunate – although I had fun by myself, it was a lot more fun with the others there.) However, I didn’t have nearly as much time to take sock photos the rest of the trip. The sock did make one final appearance in the Lego store, though!


That was on Saturday night, and you can see how much I accomplished. I only knit in line for rides, and then on the shuttle to and from Universal that day, and by that point I was almost finished the gusset decreases, which I finished in the shuttle to the airport yesterday. I knit Mountain Peaks on the way home, since I didn’t have a tv this time and could concentrate on the shawl. The CPH and Mountain Peaks were on Denise needles, so I knew they’d get through security, but on the way home I risked my KP Circ for the sock. I made the airport party in Vancouver wait to make sure the sock made it through ok, but nobody even looked twice. Disneyland over 5 days, going in and out multiple times a day, Universal, and three airports – nobody even blinked. The only time I got any sort of remark about it was the flight attendant leaving LA who made me put it away until the seatbelt sign was off. All in all, it was a very successful knitting trip.

And a very successful trip altogether. We had a great time, did lots of fun stuff, enjoyed the weather (although it went down hill the last few days, it was still SIGNIFICANTLY better than here!), ate some very tasty food, and all in all had a fabulous time. Dear Disneyland, I miss you already. Love, Sarah.

Good thing it’s only six weeks until my next vacation. So what does one knit in Cuba?