Sunday, January 8, 2017

Knit Your Own Harry Potter House Scarf Blanket

Guys.  Remember how I've been saying for like, months, how I was working on something I was super excited about but couldn't really talk about it because it was a Christmas present?  Well, this is it.  This is the thing.  It's a Harry Potter House Scarf Blanket.  Now, I don't know if this is something that's been done before.  It probably has.  It doesn't seem like it's the biggest revelation in my life, but I was determined to try to figure this out on my own-ish.  I say "ish" because I did end up modifying a scarf pattern, but I didn't go out of my way to find a pattern for this specific project as I really wanted to try to figure it out.  And I did.  And I loved the journey!

Now, if you know me and/or have been following my blog, then you know that I'm a Slytherin, so obviously, it did hurt me just a little bit to be going on this adventure with a Gryffindor scarf blanket, but I really wanted to make this for my Aunt Ginny, as she's one of the biggest Harry Potter fans I know and was the one who ended up convincing me to start reading the books when I was trying to find myself a new fandom.  I thought it would be appropriate that she be the first recipient of this, but you better believe that I bought myself some yarn to make a Slytherin one for myself in the very near future!

Something worth mentioning is that I'm still very much a beginner knitter, so if you are as well or you don't even know how to knit but would like to learn and give this a try, don't let it intimidate you.  Switching colors is really easy; more than anything it's just more annoying at the end having to weave in so many ends.  This is a really great project for beginners, I think, since it gets you used to knitting, purling and switching colors.  There are tons of great tutorials on YouTube that you can seek out to help you learn if this is something you'd like to try!

So as I mentioned, I did modify the blanket from this pattern, but since I wasn't using the exact yarn she was using I had to do some modifications as far as the gauge went.  There was a lot of math and I was so happy to have the gauge calculator I mentioned in this post handy because I don't know that I would have figured everything out as easily without it! 

Initially I had planned on making the blanket 81" x 60".  Because apparently I had planned on working on this for the rest of my life?  I think I ended up making it 60" wide, because that's as wide as my measuring tape went.  I think the blanket ended up being 50-something" long.  It would have been helpful to measure before I actually gifted it, eh?  But I didn't, so I'm unsure.  But you can make it whatever size you would like.  If you want to make it small for a baby or large for a blanket to put on your bed, you can do it all.

Also.  I feel like yarn is such a personal thing.  There are people out there who feel very strongly about only using natural fibers (like my knitting teacher annoyingly was), and there are people who don't care.  I'm in the don't care boat, only because natural fiber yarn can get quite pricey and when you're making a large project like a blanket, that can end up adding up really quickly.  So use what you're able to afford.  

For this blanket, I used the Red Heart Super Saver Economy Yarn in Burgundy for the red and then Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in Gold for the stripes.  I found this did me well, as I think I probably spent less then $20 on all of this and still have some left over for some future Gryffindor projects (which, sadly, there are).  Both of these skeins are Size 4 yarn and I used a 8 US sized needle. 

Since I was using the intended needle size for this yarn, I was able to see off the label that the gauge was 23 rows in a 4x4 square and able to figure everything out from there.  Again, you can refer to my gauge post if you're using a different yarn or needle size.  I will say that in the middle of making this blanket I started working on a bigger scarf for my brother using Size 5 or 6 yarn and 13 US size needles and everything worked up so quickly that when I came back to working on this blanket I wanted to cry over how long it took to get a row done!  So if you don't feel like spending a ton of time on this, you can certainly use bulkier yarn to have it work up super quickly.

The pattern I worked with is as follows:

MC = Main Color (Red, Green, Yellow or Blue depending on your house)
SC = Stripe Color (Gold, Silver, Black or Bronze/Silver depending on your house)

- Long tail cast- on (or cast-on of your preference) as wide as you would like.  I did mine to 60".
- 28 rows of MC working in stockinette stitch (alternate between one row of knitting/one row of purl).  Slip 1st stitch on each row purl-wise and knit last stitch on each row, on every single row after you cast on.
- 4 rows of SC
- 6 rows of MC
- 4 rows of SC
- Repeat 28/4/6/4 pattern as many times as needed.
- 28 rows of MC
- Cast-off

Again, use your gauge to figure out how long you're going to make this, or just work on it until you think it's going to be long enough.  Sometimes that's kind of fun to just keep working it up.  For instance, I thought I would be repeating the 28/4/6/4 nine times, but I think I ended up only doing it 6 or 7 times, both because I was running out of time and I also forget that my Aunt is quite a bit shorter than I am so the blanket didn't need to be from my head to toe to cover her.

Also, the sides and the bottom of my blanket ended up rolling up.  I'm not 100% sure why that was, but it isn't the biggest deal.  It's just an aesthetic thing, it doesn't really affect anything and honestly I don't even know how to begin to fix it even if I wanted to.  Hopefully on my next go I can try to correct it or figure out why it's rolling.  If you have any idea please let me know!

Also, if you plan on gifting a blanket that you make, I thought this was a cute little tag to attach!  On the back side I put the care instructions from the yarn labels just in case anything happened, which is something I always do when I gift knitted goods.  There's nothing more frustrating than not knowing how to care for a garment you receive!

So that is it!  I really, really hope that this all made sense.  This is my first go at writing a pattern or really writing in-depth about a project that I made so I apologize if it's confusing.  Feel free to ask for clarification if  something confuses you!  And let me know if you plan on making this or if you have made something Harry Potter-inspired yourself!

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