Gryffindor cowls and portraits

IMG_2789For those of you who are no strangers to my blog (first of all, welcome back), the above image may seem reminiscent of a previous blog post discussing courage and strength in the face of certain failure, and you might feel like I may be being (redundant) redundant in this post. Well, let me quell all qualms right now and just say that this cowl is an entirely different project from my initial Gryffindor scarf (though with a far less admirable and heart-warming backstory) with its own distinct pattern and everything. Convinced? Good, now keep reading.

So while the stripes and use of 10th century Hogwarts professor and duellist Godric Gryffindor as inspiration may cause these two works to look alike, the cowl you see here is actually knit in a round, and its ends are stitched together seamlessly (i.e. this is essentially a doughnut).

IMG_2807

By knitting in a round, the stripes are actually able to circle the entire cowl, meaning that there is no right or wrong side. You can just throw this bad boy on and not have to worry about the unseemly backside of stockinette stitches or the curling edges of a flat-knit scarf. Plus, since this cowl is double-sided, it’s twice as thick and ergo twice as warm. AND if you needed any more reasons to convince yourself that this cowl (and me, by extension) is one of the greatest things ever (right next to Uniqlo colored jeans and Ariana Grande), it only took 2 skeins of yarn to make! So while this scarf looks like an accessory reserved for Hogwarts royalty, you actually don’t have to break Gringotts to make one (If the lady on yahoo answers is to be trusted, it would cost you exactly 2 galleons and 3 sickles)!

If you’ve been reading closely, you’ll notice that I’ve been talking up this cowl quite a bit (also that I’ve used the letter “u” 36 times since the start of this post). Rest assured this isn’t pure vanity (it’s like, 45% vanity). The actual reason is that this is my very first original pattern that I’m selling for $1!

That’s right, I was so impressed with my work (okay, 60% vanity) that I decided to write up the pattern for my striped Gryffindor cowl and sell it on my etsy (which you can find here) as well as my ravelry account for only $1! That means, for the cost of a morning coffee, you could learn how to make this scarf 3 times and also give me like, 65 cents in pity change. What a steal!

To purchase the pattern for this Gryffindor cowl, please click here.

On a more serious note, this is my first ever original pattern so apologies in advance if the formatting and layout is not to your liking (thank you MSWord). And please feel free to message me if you need any help or have any questions!

Now some of you may be asking why it is that I’m selling this pattern at all and not just offering it as a free download. The first reason is vanity (of course), believing that my amateur innovations in knitting are worth some monetary value. But the second reason is that, in the upcoming months, I will probably be having the most exciting time of my life (unless I meet Ed Sheeran at a cafe randomly and he invites me backstage to one of his concerts and then he instagrams us together and I become instafamous because of it #dreamcometrue), and while I am a working man, I would love to say that this period of my life was, in part, subsidized by my knitting.

From March to June of this year, I will be traveling to 11 different countries (I’m like 50% Eat Pray Love and 50% Walter Mitty) across 2 continents using 8 different currencies. And between flight checking, wikitravel, stress eating, and anxiety stomachaches, I’ve thought about the kinds of things I’d like to do in these different places. While the term YOLO has come to mind on several occasions and the idea of riding elephants in Bangkok, exploring caves off the Amalfi Coast, or getting drunk on an Icelandic fjord has its merits (especially the drunk on a fjord one), I can’t shake the notion that I’d be incredibly happy just sitting at a random cafe with my knitting (okay, 75% Eat Pray Love and 25% Walter Mitty), listening to music and keeping an eye out for Ed Sheeran. But even I’ll admit that this is something I could do at home, so I’ve decided to invest in another para-cafeing activity that will help me create memories wherever I visit while also still letting me relax and keep an eye out for Ed Sheeran: portraits.

I am an ISTJ. I think critically and concretely and trust facts, logic, and information that I obtain from my 5 senses (well, not smell, because I get olfactory hallucinations, but that’s a different story). What little creative juice I do possess gets crammed straight into this blog and my knitting and punny placements of the letter “k.” Add to that the fact that I am left-handed and you can imagine just how horrible of an artist I am. However, the romanticized idea of me sitting outdoors at a coffee shop in Prague drawing young couples looking out over the Charles Bridge (def 100% Eat Pray Love) doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so, as of a couple months ago, I am officially an aspiring sketch artist, with charcoal as my preferred medium (right next to Miss Cleo. HA!).

What follows are the faces I’ve sketched, from friends and family to famous celebrities. As I’ve come to learn, drawing and drawing likenesses are two separate arts and, unfortunately for those who I’ve drawn, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the former and completely ignored the latter.

IMG_2828Random woman from my head. She looks like Storm from X-Men because I didn’t know how to do eyes. Also her face looks bruised.

IMG_2818Probably the scariest of my drawings. I immediately knew it was gonna be bad when I started, but I thought I could salvage it. I could not. This is supposed to be Harry Styles.

IMG_2819Slightly more of a semblance to an actual human being, though a bit cartoony. There’s hope for me yet. This is Emma Watson.

IMG_2820My spurt of improvement inspired me to try Harry Styles again, which turned out moderately better than my first attempt.

IMG_2817I took a break from stalking One Direction pictures and tried to draw my filipino friend, Bea. This picture looks nothing like her, but many people said they got a “filipino vibe” when I showed it to them, so that has to count for something.

IMG_2821Next I tried drawing my sister. This is when I realize I really suck at hair (because that’s the only thing wrong with this portrait). And yes, in real life her right eye is slightly higher than her left and she has the teeth of an orc.

IMG_2831Realizing that open mouths are so hard to draw, I returned to the realm of closed-mouth smolders by One Direction. This is Louis Tomlinson and it actually resembles him somewhat, except for that cauliflower ear.

IMG_2824I just finished binge watching The Newsroom Season 2. Hence, Chris Messina.

IMG_2825I’ll leave this last one for you guys to guess. Free Gryffindor cowl pattern for whoever gets it right.

***The Sorting Hat, before being enchanted to place students into the various Hogwarts Houses, originally belonged to Godric Gryffindor.

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