The Harry Potter books and movies are very popular with young and old alike. Since knitters like to knit for other people and knitters like Harry Potter this book, Charmed Knits Projects for Fans of Harry Potter by Alison Hansel fills a niche that is happy to be filled.
Ms. Hansel is a big Harry Potter fan and took to knitting a la Mrs. Weasley. She has created a series of designs that tie-in nicely with the books and movies. The patterns themselves have a guide at the beginning if they need to describe a special technique for that pattern. In addition, the patterns are rated for difficulty, First Year, Ordinary Wizarding Level, and Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test. Finally, at the end of the book there are definitions and techniques not unique to any individual pattern in the book, but instead apply to all of the patterns.
Okay, I can hear someone saying in the background, “I’m not knitting something that is a fad and will go out of style about the time I finish it.” Well, Hansel has drawn a very successful line in creating patterns that will not go out of style soon. There are lovely simple tunics, socks and sweaters (or jumpers) that are always fashionable and hats and scarves too. Other than the wand holder (which is small and great for make-believe at anytime), everything in the book is almost an inside joke for Potter fans. If you do not follow Harry Potter the items in the book are just well designed scarves, socks, sweaters, hats, and purses or totes. But if you are a Potter fan you will get the joke and enjoy many hours of knitting up these items.
I especially like the Weasley sweater, which allows you to knit the “Potter” embellishment after the fact in duplicate stitch or while making the sweater as intarsia. Harry’s Red Cable Sweater is a classic cable sweater with nicely detailed instructions and Hermione’s Magic Knitting Bag is actually a felted bag that will do service as a messenger bag for a long time. The baby hats are quite clever and fun; the House Hat and Elf hat are easily made by First Year’s or beginning knitters and will make a lovely simple gift.
Sit back and enjoy paging through this book if you are a Potter fan, or find something in it to delight the Potter fan in your life. (In the interest of full disclosure, I do not own a copy of this book, but obtained mine from the public library on loan.)