Friday, April 30, 2010

Let's all do the OWL dance...

With a brand new term starting in about 12 hours, it seemed like a good idea to post a how-to on OWLs for any new students… and for students with selective memories. You know who you are:-P

For those of you new students who don’t know who I am, I’m Zanahoria12, aka Z12 and I’m an OWL-aholic. No seriously. I did four of the suckers in my first term. I’ve got 6 total and I was the first one to get to pull that off…so crazed OWL-addict? That’s me.

I’m available on Ravelry by PM or just in the Common Room if you want to ask me direct questions.

Firstly, take a look at this term’s offerings. Each subject area (there are 12 to choose from!) has several options. You can either make a project you want to do already and fit it somewhere or you can pick an option and you want to do and then pick a project to go with it.

You need to know five things about OWLs.

  1. They are bigger projects meant to stretch and enhance your skills as a crafter.
  2. It needs to take more than a month to complete this project, but no more than three months.
  3. They are extra-curricular. That means your classes must take priority over OWLs, and OWLs are also not in anyway required…but you know…we’ll definitely encourage you to one because:
  4. They are worth 150 points. 50 points for showing 50% progress at the end of month two (in this case, June) and the remaining 100 for turning in a completed project by the end of term (in this case, July)
  5. In order to do an OWL, you must submit a proposal by the end of the first month (May in this case) and fill out the Google form to help the examiners organize their data.

To submit a proposal you need to do the following:

  1. Pick a project that you want to make that meets the “takes-more-than-a-month” requirement.
  2. Figure out which subject area and option you want to apply for with your chosen project.
  3. Make any and all swatches that are necessary. I know I know. I hate doing it too, but you’d never compete in a marathon without a warm-up. The consequences aren’t worth it. Big knitting projects are the same. This swatch doesn’t necessarily have to be a gauge swatch. The whole point is to make sure that your yarn and needles/hook are playing well together so that you’re final product fits (if it’s something that needs to fit) or drapes properly (if you want that gorgeous shawl or stole to float on air) and won’t kill your hands and wrists (bulletproof gauge just doesn’t make sense for that afghan) A swatch tells you a lot about what your finished product will be. It just makes sense to do it now in order to increase your success rate. For more information on the swatch situation, check out the post by the head OWL examiner.
  4. Take lots of pictures. Your proposal needs to include photos of the yarn that you plan to use, any tools (needles, hooks, cable needles, beads, etc), the pattern (especially if it’s not a free pattern available online), and your swatch or swatches.
  5. Write up your proposal. Make sure to list your name, your house, the subject and option you’ve chosen, the pattern (if there is one) that you’ll be using, your tools, the yarn or fiber you’re using. Then tell us your crafting methods and sequence, making sure to indicate why you think this project qualifies for the subject/option that you’ve chosen.
  6. Be super-polite and friendly. Okay… so it’s not a requirement, and we’re Slytherins… so saccharin-sweet may not be your style, but it makes the examiners happier. And they will be super-stressed by the number of OWL proposals that show up in the first few days. Remember: Happier examiners = faster proposal approvals. Just sayin’.
  7. Post your proposal to the OWL thread with your pictures.
  8. Look for the Slytherin form in Post 1 of the OWL thread and fill it out. It’s similar to the signup form used for Sorting and will give the OWL examiner for Slytherin the information about all of our OWLs in one place.
  9. DO NOT, under any circumstances, earburn the OWL examiners. It messes with their system and stresses them out more. If you have a question that is urgent, contact your big snake or ask in the common room and we’ll help get your answer for you in hopefully an efficient and less hectic way.

There will be tons of OWL proposals that go up in that thread tomorrow. It might be a bit overwhelming. Just remember to breathe. Feel free to look them over for ideas for your own proposal. I’m planning on submitting tomorrow as well, and once I do I’ll come back and hit the blog again with a link to my proposals so you can see if you want some ideas.

Cool beans? Ready, Set, Hoot!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Welcome to a New Term!!

Hi Slytherins, Returning and New!!! This term's going to RULE!

To prove it, TurpentineChai brought the Doom Goat.

That is all.