As the first day of this blessed new summer vacation draws to a close, I find myself sifting through some photos from last year.
Last summer at this time, my family and I were eagerly awaiting the 7th Harry Potter book and discovered (with horror) that the book would come out on the first day of our big annual family reunion vacation. The emails flew thick and fast to establish "the rules" about reading, sharing the books, not divulging, etc.
In the mean time, I stopped by my LYS and found a stack of "Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter" by Alison Hansel right next to a large selection of yarns that were recommended in the book. Halleluia, a store that understands my need for straightforward yarn choices right next to the new pattern book. I still obsessed about the "most perfect" color choices for a Ravenclaw scarf (requested by my sister-in-law) for at least an hour... Had I needed to roam the store to find the appropriate yarn brand, weight, etc., AND COLOR, it would have taken me a half day deciding... The upside is that I love hanging around the yarn store. But you knew that!
Of course, I was also taken by those most seductive Gryffindor colors and thought to myself that my husband might just adore it. I also had a venue in which to knit it in secret - a trip to the Grand Tetons with a friend - later in the summer. Turns out, I spent two days getting from Philadelphia to Jackson Hole... and another two days in reverse. The traveling was a very, very ugly affair, but the upside was a finished Gryffindor scarf.
With two scarves down, a thought of making my brother-in-law a scarf germinated somewhere in the back of my mind. When asked, he joked that he was certainly a Slytherin type. Perfect. New colors to maintain knitting interest. Back at the yarn store I decided that I couldn't just make three of four house scarves, so I also purchased the Hufflepuff colors for me. The lucky upside of those two scarves is that the Slytherin scarf also shares the same color scheme as the Philadelphia Eagles (brother in law's favorite sports team) and the Hufflepuff colors are the same as my alma mater (University of Colorado, Boulder) and the current school that employs me. Win, win, WIN!
The big reveal was Christmas and I didn't want to let on that I was knitting Hufflepuff for me (three out of four scarf scenario, husband could get suspicious, etc, etc...), I also had to knit the Hufflepuff in secret. It was very tricky, since I usually drive or watch a movie WITH my husband while also knitting. There were many sneaky moments and near misses in this process. Lying too. Not comfortable. The final product was barely finished and wrapped in the late afternoon of Christmas Eve. All is well that ends well... Note the unfinished Hufflepuff scarf below.
Each scarf was given to its recipient by at least one member of each Hogwarts house.
Ravenclaw scarf: from Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang
Slytherin scarf: from Crabbe, Goyle, and Brian Dawkins (check the Eagles roster in case you were looking in the HP books for that last name...)
Hufflepuff: Cedric Diggory. I wish I had a picture of my husband's confused and amazed face when this was announced and opened! Worth the price of knitting time, hands down! ("You made and gave yourself scarf?? I am so confused!")
Gryffindor: from the ghost Sir Nicholas de Mimsey-Porpington!!
Needless to say, the whole event was a smashing success! Ah, the happy memories of summer, a completed book series and matching scarves!
And here we all are in our be-scarfed glory!
Left to right: Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff