Review: The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits

004Interweave Knits has brought us another specialty issue of their magazine, in the vein of their Jane Austen Knits series. When rumors surfaced that there was going to be a specialty issue devoted not only to the Harry Potter universe, but also to Downton Abbey, I admit I was really excited. (I totally admit to being a huge Potterhead. I know I’ve admitted in the podcast that I’ve named my car Fawkes. Heh.)

Due to copyright infringement issues they have named this The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits and are only selling this in the United States. Unfortunately, if you are elsewhere in the world, you will have to find an obliging soul to buy it and send it to you from the US. (They will be doing the same for the Downton series, so if you are interested, line those US friends up now!) I got my copy at my LYS the day they received them in the store – and they sold out fairly soon after, which seems to have been the case throughout the US. (I did see a number of copies at the local Barnes & Noble, hidden behind the other knitting magazines, so I know that they have no clue what they have on their shelves, lol!)

So, onto the review. Overall, I liked the direction they went with the magazine, dividing it into five distinct categories, each a class at Hogwarts: History of Magic, Care of Magical Creatures, Transfiguration, Charms, and Defense of the Dark Arts. Naturally, some of my favorite patterns are the socks. 🙂 There is a great variety of patterns in the magazine: sweaters (for both men and women!), socks (again, for both sexes, woot!), gloves/mittens, shawls, and other accessories. It’s nice to see that Interweave has chosen a variety of patterns (and models) for this magazine.

I love that there are blatant shout-outs to the books; so many times you have something that is, in every respect, something from a book, but is something different. However, here we have Hagrid’s Sweater – the same yellow sweater he was knitting on the Underground while taking Harry to Diagon Alley! (Really, that may have sold me on the whole magazine. Even if it doesn’t look just as I had imagined it. Truth.)

The photography, for the most part, is good. Not excellent, but good. The outdoor shots are arts-y, and try to evoke a feeling of the books. The indoor shots… well, are not great. The lighting in a lot of them is horrible and you can’t make out features of the items being shown. The section least well shot was the Defense Against the Dark Arts – I understand, that they were trying to evoke a gloomy, dark feel – and I love some of the items they’re trying to show – but YOU CAN’T SEE THEM. FAIL, Interweave. When you are trying to “sell” a garment, you need to have light. Period. If I had gotten the digital copy instead of the print copy (which I did consider), I would have been so upset.

The patterns are wonderful – the variety is awesome and I can see me knitting a few of these as it gets colder here, but the photography leaves a lot to be desired. I certainly hope that the photography for the Downton Abbey issue is better – because, yes, I’ll be buying it.

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