Hold onto your S.P.E.W. Hats: It’s Harry Potter Day!
July 31 marks a great day in literary history—it’s the birthday of a favorite fictional hero, Harry Potter, not to mention J.K. Rowling’s, and . . . well . . . mine. I’m sure I’m not the only other Potterhead to share a birthday with Harry, but the coincidence fills me with childlike happiness. For the last several years, starting July 1st, I either listen to or reread the entire series. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate Harry, literature, and my birthday. I’ve read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone so many times the binding of my hardcover finally cracked—it hasn’t stopped me yet, but I am thankful it isn’t a first edition like the rest of my collection.
Shortly after I learned to knit, one of m first projects was a Gryffindor House scarf. I was not the “enlightened” knitter I am now, but my mistake-riddled scarf, made in acrylic yarn, that curled because I worked it in stockinette stitch instead of garter, was one of my greatest treasures, and I wore it proudly. That was well over a decade ago when I was in college; I’ve moved several times since then, and I honestly have no idea where that scarf is or who’s enjoying it right now. I hope it’s adorning the neck of a fellow Gryffindor.
The Harry Potter series is full of knitting references; in fact, within the first hundred pages of Sorcerer’s Stone, Hagrid knits what looks to Harry like a “canary-yellow circus tent” on the London Underground1. Not to mention the annual Christmas jumpers Mrs. Weasley made for her boys and Harry, Dumbledore’s pleasure in finding knitting patterns in the bathroom of a magically ransacked Muggle house, and Hermione’s hats made to release house elves as part of her S.P.E.W. initiative, which were all collected and worn simultaneously by Dobby2. So you can probably imagine my delight when The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits was released a few years ago. My favorite craft publisher curated a collection of Potter-inspired knits for nerdy knitters just like me—I was ecstatic! I should have known right then that I would eventually work for Interweave.
The day The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits arrived at my local yarn shop, I sat in the kitchen, poured myself a cup of tea, and flipped through a magical collection of literary-inspired knits. I couldn’t have been happier, unless Fred and George Weasley had apparated in front of me to whisk me away on a shenanigans-filled adventure in Hogsmeade.
The models chosen for this issue were dead ringers for actors in the movies, making the experience all the more authentic, and the knits have since become “go-tos” for Potterhead knitters. The most noteworthy design is Ginny’s Cardigan by Mari Chiba, with 6190 loves and 946 projects on Ravelry. Our own Deb Gerish, Love of Knitting editor, has made Ginny’s Cardigan and wears it often around the office, with handmade pottery owl buttons, an owl hat knitted from leftover yarn, and owl earrings. We practice what we preach around here.
There are over 30 magical projects in The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, and if you’re a Potterhead like me, I’m sure there is a project in the issue for you. I just flipped through the issue again and raised an eyebrow when I saw the Modern Stripes House Scarves—it’s about time I replace that Gryffindor scarf, right?
I solemnly swear I’m up to no good (it is my birthday after all),
Meghan Babin, Editor
1. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, p. 65, (Scholastic Press, 1998) ]↩
2. Is it just me, or do you all think these hats could free house elves if they were made in a gray or brown? I think Hermione Granger and Emma Watson would agree with me 1000%.↩
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