Let me bring you back. It’s before Christmas, and I’m sitting at home in my pajamas probably crocheting something, or possibly knitting something. I’m browsing through my phone, and I see the most perfect book I could have ever stumbled upon. It’s an entire book filled with Harry Potter inspired knitting patterns. I click the link, I read the story. And yes, it’s true! This book is real. It’s something I can actually get in my hands, and read, and enjoy! I am beyond excited, so much so that I immediately send the link to my husband Sean, with the text, ‘I want this for Christmas’. To which he replies, ‘this is pre-order only, it doesn’t come out until January.’ Commence complete utter heart-break…
I found Tanis on Instagram, and although I am quite shy and introverted, I just kept thinking about this incredible book, and that singular motivation lead me to start a conversation with the Author herself. Tanis Gray is absolutely delightful. And that made the fact that she was delving into my favourite fandom and combining it with my ultimate pastime, yarn, such a relief.
I humbly introduced myself to Tanis and inquired after the book. Not just any book THE BOOK. And after some back and forths and some emails with Tanis’ publisher, Insight Editions, a hardcover, glossy, incredible copy was sent to my home for me to review, ahead of the January 2020 launch.
To say I was excited is an understatement. To say that I cried is probably embarrassing and ridiculous, so I won’t even say that. That’s silly. That’s too over-the-top. Let’s just say I was cool, and collected, and very much not crying. Not even a little bit. No tears were shed in the acquiring of this magical collection of patterns.
So now I have the book. And I have it way ahead of the launch. And I have it RIGHT before Christmas. And as we all know, things get crazy busy around Christmas.
I had this book for a few weeks, and all I could do was stare at it longingly. It was taunting me, telling me to forget about my children, my job, making dinner, EVERYTHING. It demanded my attention. But I just couldn’t listen. I had to make Christmas with Sean. I had to go get the Christmas tree, and put up the decorations. I had to go to my children’s Christmas school things, and go look at holiday lights. Meanwhile the book was at home getting very upset with me. I could feel it. Like Tom Riddle’s diary, it was trying to get my attention.
Finally, Christmas was over, and I was able to pick up the book, and look inside.
Harry Potter Knitting Magic is filled with the craziest and most magical patterns imaginable. There are garments inspired by fantastic details in the movie. There are subtle patterns, ones that I like to refer to as ‘low-key’. Sean really enjoyed the scarf that when tilted a certain way, showed off the Dark Mark (he’s a Slytherin, you see).
There are also those highly sought-after fandom objects like the classic Weasley sweater, complete with charts for all 26 letters of the Alphabet in case your name is Xenophilius Lovegood.
But I had my heart set on making a pair of socks, and I was thrilled to find that there are not only one pair in the book, but two!
I had the choice between Golden Snitch Socks, or Quidditch Team Socks. I checked my yarn stash and found fingering weight skeins of red and gold, and it was just meant to be. Team socks had to happen.
I began making the socks and found the directions very clear, and beautifully written. Each pattern includes a lovely story about what part of the Wizarding World inspired the piece. There are amazing glossy photos from the Harry Potter movies included to show the inspiration behind the patterns, along with a ‘Behind the Magic’ blurb about the designs place in the Wizarding World.
The Quidditch Socks go on to talk about the history of the Quidditch Cup, along with a fun Behind the Magic detail which reads, ‘The colorful fabric dressing the Quidditch pitch was applied to the CGI set only during matches. The filmmakers reasoned that the fabric wouldn’t be brought out for tryouts or practices, so in those scenes, we see the bare wood skeletons of the stands.’
Did you ever notice that the fabric wasn’t out during practices? I didn’t either!
The sock pattern includes the written pattern, along with a small graph/chart for the colourwork. These socks are listed as ‘one size’ which is a little bit worrisome for me, but I can see after getting into them a bit that they will definitely fit. These socks wouldn’t work for young kids, or adults with larger than average feet. The other pair of socks in the book are also One Size, and the measurements are very similar.
The One Size only doesn’t apply to all of the books designs, however. For example, there is a pullover called ‘Hermione’s Time-Turner Sweater’ that is offered in sizes XS-6X! I have my eyes on this pattern next, it features a darling golden Time-Turner necklace that dances and glitters around the yoke of the pullover. It’s beautiful!
It’s taken me about 2 days of knitting on and off to get this far on one Quidditch House sock, but I am taking these with me on vacation this week, and I hope to get them both finished on the plane and in between holiday events. It would be so nice to wear them to Diagon Alley inside Universal Studios when we arrive! I am a bit concerned about taking my double pointed needles on the plane, but hopefully the security team will see that they are for socks, and not take them away from me. I have thought however, that if they do want to take them away, that I’ll bring extra yarn to create a life-line on the socks so they can be continued when I get home. Fingers crossed it doesn’t come to that.
Double pointed needles do look a bit menacing, don’t they! Oh well. I hope you enjoy your copy of Knitting Magic when they begin to arrive this January. I can’t wait to see what everyone chooses as their first project, there are so many good ones!!