Laura's Harry Potter Sweater

Saturday, June 14, 2008
My daughter Laura liked a sweater she had seen in the book Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter by Alison Hansel. For my part, I was interested in learning to use the techniques for a seamless sweater that I had found in the book The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee. So I had a project!

The sweater from the Harry Potter book is a classic preppy grey V-neck design with alternating burgundy and gold stripes above the ribbing of the body and sleeves, based on the Gryffindor house colors. However, in order to follow the design suggested by The Sweater Workshop, I needed to convert the V-neck to a crew neck. In addition, Laura wanted to change the striping around the body to a solid burgundy, but to keep the burgundy gold striping around the sleeves. Laura liked the crew neck but thinks that the neckline would be better if it were wider and dipped lower.

Here are my notes & adjustments:
  • I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Oxford Grey, Burgundy and Gold.
  • Shoot, I can't remember how much Oxford Grey I used for the body! Four or five skeins? One skein each of the Burgundy and Gold with plenty of yarn left over.
  • I used size 6 needles for the ribbing, size 8 for the body and size 10½ for binding off the neck band (see note below).
  • 2" of K1,P1 ribbing for both the body and sleeves.
  • Semi-shaping for the sleeves (about 1/2 of the increases were done at the end of the ribbing and 2 stitches were added about every 7th row for the second half.)
  • In order to make the neck binding loose enough I went from size 6 to 8 needles on the last row of ribbing and then bound off in 10½. I am not sure whether this is a technique that always has to be applied when making a crew neck, or something that happened to be needed in this particular instance.
  • Laura wanted the sweater to have a longer body, but all of the shaping for the body occurs right after the ribbing, so finding a way to achieve a more gradual shaping needs to be considered in future projects. The book points out and gives options for more gradual shaping in the sleeves but not for the body where it is useful as well.

    This is the second sweater that I have designed using the techniques from this book. I made my first one many years ago, before I had developed an understanding of gauge and garment fit. As a result of that, together with my liking for loose fit, that first sweater finished with a size that would have been large enough to fit a gorilla! My more recent attempt fits much better, and I expect my next design to be even more refined. Stay tuned!