Okay, I know what you’re thinking: what is this insanity he’s posting about today? You’re right, it is pretty insane. I’ve thought this since the day I heard of it, which is why I’ve been so resistant to try it up until now.
Some background, my wife and I found a knitting group through our favorite LYS: Knit, in Roslyn, Long Island, New York. Many of the members of this group were also members of the Ravelry group as mentioned: Harry Potter Knitting & Crochet House Cup. They told us about it, of course, but we were reluctant to join. Then, about four months ago, my wife decides to join, loves it, and tries to convince me to join. I refuse, I refuse, and then I refuse some more. This continues until one day I don’t refuse and decide to give this thing a try.
So what is this group of madness: in its simplest terms, it’s a way to motivate knitters to finish projects through a Harry Potter themed competition. Completing projects earns points for your Harry Potter themed house: Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Slytherin. If your house earns enough points, they win the house cup. Then the next term starts. That’s it on the surface, but the details can make your head spin.
You see, each term lasts for three months. At the beginning of each month eight classes are posted. Classes are prompts that have some sort of inspiration based on classes taught at Hogwarts in the books, but these classes are knitting themed as well. Essentially, a prompt is described, then members create an object using some sort of fiber art like knitting or crochet. The members then submit the object with a photo and description of how it fits the prompt. If the “teacher” aka person volunteering to grade the projects decides that the object fits the prompt, then he or she awards the person points, generally 15 points. As an active member, you have to submit for at least one class a month but can only get the base points for up to six classes a month, but there are eight classes a month to choose from.
Then it gets more complicated. For instance, there are OWLs, which are three month long projects that require a submission approval first and are a bit trickier to get submitted and require the knitter to be challenged in some way. There are missions, which are somewhere between classes and OWLs. Completing 4 OWLS allows you to do a NEWT, which is a four month long project. There’s Quidditch, which is a little insane in and of itself. There are chat threads of various sorts. Each house has its own games and competitions and stuff. There’s grading and points and trophies and badges and… the whole thing just makes your head spin.
It’s a very active group, however, full of great people who love the fiber arts and Harry Potter and other nerdy or geeky things. They’re all very supportive, very chatty, and it’s a great crowd. It’s like its own little community within a community.
I’m not sorted yet, because you have to play as a “Not Quite First Year” before you can join a house. Right now I’m thinking I’ll try for either Hufflepuff or Slytherin, Hufflepuff because it’s a great group of people and when it comes to the knitting community, I’m definitely a Puff, or Slytherin because in the real world I feel very strong ties to the Slytherin house, not in its evil sort of way but in other, ambition driven sorts of ways.
Regardless, so far I’m having fun. I even submitted the mitts I was commissioned to make as my first class. I’m working on an OWL as well, just to see if I can do it. Of course with all the craziness of my life right now, I’m not sure I can, but it’s still nice to have goals like this. I think that’s really the beauty of this group. It really does motivate you to get things done.