Stitch Shape and Bristol Fashion

Crafting in the West Country


April 2016

Fantastic Knits and Where to Find Them

Privet Drive
I knocked, but no one let me in.

Guess what I did yesterday? Harry Potter Studio Tours! There are so many amazing costumes, let’s have a little look at some people may have missed for inspiration.

An alternative Hogwarts scarf

This is a pretty cool scarf. People normally try to represent their house pride, but this one incorporates all 4, so if you’re unsorted, fancy something a bit different or don’t identify as just one house, this could be a fun little challenge. It’s a simple sticking stitch job with tassels and I’m sure it’s not too hard to get hold of a crest to emblazon it with.

You can almost smell the incense

How much fun could you have putting together a costume for Professor Trelawny? Layers and textures and scarfs and everything. Film Trelawny was no where near how I’d imagined her (I had a history teacher in school I based my image off) and that’s what’s so fun about her. She’s a character you can interpret in so many ways with so many influences.

Not so much sheik, just plain shabby

Ron Weasley’s dress robes made me giggle when I pictured them in the book. and these are pretty close to what I had in my head, but pushed further. How fun would it be to find all the most ridiculous trimmings possible and create an ensemble akin to this? It wouldn’t require a huge amount of skill either. Find some old clothes in a charity shop and just add frills! You don’t even need to sew them on, glue would be fine, and it’s almost a case of the worse it’s done, the better!

I think he’d fiddling with a plug in his pocket, trying to work it out.

Keeping it in the family, Arthur Weasley’s cardigan is pretty sweet. This presents a number of different challenges in terms of construction though. While the first thing you need to do it collect loads of different fabrics in one shade of brown, putting them together could prove tricky. What makes in interesting is looking at woven and knitted and heavy and light fabrics all working together, which is no easy feat. If it was me, I’d look at going down two avenues. Using interfacing, or the final effect being a all encompassing patchwork embellishment enveloping a properly structured garment.

Just the tiniest bit of me was on the look out for Nagini

I know Professor Umbridge is a pretty popular Halloween costume, but have you ever thought about having a go at Bathilda Bagshot? Layers upon layers of greys and textures along side a gaunt looking face. She is being inhabited by a giant snake as well, could be fun to try and include that idea somehow.

Matching scarf and everything

Katie Bell’s coat was a revelation. Seeing up close, it was potentially the most surprising object there. A woolen coat with knitted sleeves! I have no idea who one would begin to tackle this, but I plan to have a go one day. If you want to try, the sleeves looked like they were brioche stitch.

Brb, flying to Hogwarts.

Anywho, don’t think this is all I have to say about Studio Tour, but I’ll have to leave you there today.


Fearless Knitting!

First off, apologies for not posting last week, everything’s a bit mad at the moment. I’m writing this whilst perched on a stool and I have never wished for something to support my back more than I am now. Also, no pictures this week because the vast majority of my knitting is currently in storage. This post will be revised when the time is right. Anyway, this week I’m back in action and writing about being fearless.

When I first started knitting I’d say I was pretty fearless in my approach. I never saw a technique as something scary, so much as something to try out, and I think this approach is pretty good, but the longer I’ve used it, the more I’ve put rules in place to make the process balanced.

Firstly, know what you’re trying to make. The second thing I ever knitted was cabled arm warmers. I was just following a pattern pretty blindly and only at the end did I understand how the instructions I was following related to what I was actually making. It was actually a fun way to go with a massive learning curve (I hadn’t even purled before) but I wouldn’t recommend trying it often. My mum bought me the kit, it could easily never have been made at all. If anything would have helped me, it would have been knowing which bit of the instruction related to what outcome. I didn’t even know the word cable.

Budget according to your confidence level. If you want to have a go at a technique and create a huge, show stopping object out of that super expensive yarn you’ve had your eye on for ages, work out the technique on a smaller test item first. Last year my birthday present from mama sheep was the yarn to create an object of my choosing. I’d had to Totoro adaptation of Paper Dolls ear marked for a while, and while I’m not disappointed with it, I really should have researched fair isle and maybe done a few tests before jumping into such a large and expensive piece.

Recognize your skill level and challenge yourself accordingly. Never tried intersia or increases before? Sure you can try them both at once so long as at least one of them is used in a simple form. In general I would recommend just trying one new thing at a time, but if a second technique you haven’t tried is used in small quantities or in entirely separate rows to the one you’re really excited about, why not give them both a go at once?

Know if you’re in the mood and have the patience. I often have a couple of different projects on the go at once and which one I’ll work on will depend on how much concentration I want to give my knitting. There are projects were you can be mostly focused on the TV, projects where you’re half watching the TV and projects where the TV might as well not be on at all.

Well, see you next week. Promise this time.


Kids TV and film has some of the cutest knitting in, particularly in animation!

I remember going to see Monsters Inc when it was out in the cinema, so when I saw Monsters University, this little knitted jumper just seemed to be too perfect! I’ve seen it adapted in various ways, there’s a whole host of ways of utilising the intersia design out there.

Another of my greatest works in progress, although I honestly feel I might just start this one over. Bagpuss is just too cute and the pattern published in Women’s Weekly a number of years ago is greatly sought after. Luckily, nana sheep does read it and kept the pattern, so I do have it tucked away in my stash.

I know I harp on about the Clangers a lot and the book of knitting patterns. I have also seen the basic pattern available for free online, so don’t feel like you have to buy the book to give them a go. But isn’t this picture the best? A clanger knitting! How adorable!

I attempted to knit Coralines jumper a few years back. I don’t think I was quite ready for such a big comment though. I want to give it another go at some point, and dress up as her. Blue hair? What a cool look. There does seem to be a pattern available online, however, it does not seem to want to be accessible on a mobile device, so you’re going to have to take it on faith from me. Did you also know the costume in the film is hand knitted in miniature? Beautiful! Read an interview with the knitter here

As a Bristolian, how could I leave out some of our own local heroes? Wallace and Gromit! One man and his dog who loves to knit on some weird and wonderful adventures. The pair have been the face of a campaign locally to raise money for a local children’s hospital, most recently through a Shaun the Sheep sculpture trail last summer. There were some pretty neat knitting and crochet offerings to see. 

See you all next week!

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