Knitting magic–Do you need it?

Why knitting and Harry Potter?

Modern Stripe House Scarves by Kim Haesemeyer.

We've made another special issue knitting magazine inspired by literature—The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits. This time we asked knitwear designers to express their love of the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling through inspired knitwear.

Since 1997, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels have been inspiring readers (young and old alike) to imagine a world where the seemingly unempowered discover hidden strengths and abilities that allow them to conquer insurmountable odds. Her books have sparked the imaginations of millions of readers, and many of us knit. Our knitted interpretations of garments and accessories from the books and movies abound on the Internet, on Harry Potter fan sites and on the knitting forums such as Ravelry. It's not surprising as J. K. Rowling is a knitter herself and several of her characters knit-from Hagrid (making a canary-yellow circus-tent-size cardigan) to Molly Weasley (knitting sweaters for all her children) to Hermione (making hats for house-elf liberation). Even Dumbledore contemplates the value of a nice warm pair of socks and enjoys reading Muggle knitting publications.
Some of the things we thought about as we were selecting projects were creating a range of knitting projects that would appeal to the beginner through the very advanced knitter. We also thought about creating a balance between opposites-playful/serious; light/dark; inside/outside; wild/civilized; mundane/magic; hidden/visible; up/down (where stairs allude to transcendence and levels of consciousness); love/hate; tolerance/intolerance; good/evil.

The knitting patterns in this issue are organized according to their magical subject matter. Take your favorite classes and learn new techniques such as lace, colorwork, and cable knitting in:

History of Magic—make scarves with modern stripes, a sweater fit for a sorcerer, socks that will knock you off your broom, and two vests: one that harnesses the power of the sun, the other contrasting the pillars of civilization with the immensity of the heavens.

Care of Magical Creatures—knit up woolen socks and a colorwork hat to keep you warm as you pace the study, mitts and socks that keep the damp at bay while you repot challenging shrubberies, a sweater of gigantic proportions, a scarf that hints at the wild of the woods, and a hair bow that is the perfect accessory for any ambitious bureaucrat with a sadistic desire for power.

Transfiguration—you'll want a hooded cloak and laced mitts when you set out on a trek to the Albanian forest; when sneaking around the castle for a late night snack, whimsical socks will help you tread lightly; make a tower of hats for the hardworking elves in your life; even when you're invisible, a little bit of lace can provide just the magic you need; and if you think the mermaid's song is hard to resist, try resisting knitting the mermaid's shawl.

Charms—when dark wizards seem to lurk in every corridor, don an owl cardigan with keen eyes to watch your back; pull on your mitts—not only can they keep your hands warm while your fingers remain nimble, they also provide a handy place to stash your wand; quell the power of name calling (mud-blood) by knitting it up and wear it proudly—in the form of a becoming cardigan;  When battling dark wizards, a pair of mittens with all the spells spelled out on the palms of your hands can be really . . . um . . . handy.

Defense Against the Dark Arts—make a colorwork vest that hints at your hidden powers; knit an intricate cablework sweater for a complex character—or maybe even yourself; sometimes shifting your appearance can be as simple as taking off a lacy layer; old manors that have been in families for generations can be drafty—a pair of warm socks, an elegant wrapper, and a lacy cloak will keep off the chill.

Like Jane Austen Knits (our first foray into knitting magazines inspired by literature), this publication contains many patterns for intermediate to advanced knitters. We have included a few patterns that will appeal to beginning knitters as well. For our readers who are compelled to knit for the first time because of this publication, you'll find resources akin to the treasure at Gringotts at your fingertips at

Happy spinning,

Due to copyright restrictions, this magazine is only available in the United States.

Note that this magazine is unofficial and unauthorized. It is not authorized, approved, licensed, or endorsed by J. K. Rowling, her publishers, or Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

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