J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has impacted every facet of my life - it taught me what true friendship should look like, gave me a love of reading that will last a lifetime, & challenged me to believe in light even in the darkest of times. In short, I'm obsessed. And that obsession naturally had to merge with my other obsession - knitting! So here we are with the first of 7 sock designs, each inspired by one of the magical Harry Potter novels.
Fair warning: you are about to read essentially a book report from a superfan merged with the creative process of me designing socks. It's as nerdy (but hopefully as lovable) as you would expect.
My sock drawer is in desperate need of an upgrade, & socks - while seemingly simple items - have endless knitting possibilities. In terms of construction you could do toe up, top down, afterthought heel, about 7 million different gusset options, and so much more. And that doesn't even include the stitch pattern options, which of course are inexhaustable. So naturally socks were the best option for this Harry Potter project!
Each novel in this series evokes a different feel. It's essentially a coming of age story spread throughout several thousand pages (and several hours of film), and I wanted to treat each specific segment with a creative & critical lens.
My process for designing each pair of socks is a several step process. First, I must reread the individual book. Luckily my wonderful mother has gifted me the exceptional illustrated versions of the first three books, so this has been especially fun for the first few pairs!
I try to extract the overwhelming feeling or theme I get from the book, which feels daunting at first but upon diving into the text it was surprisingly easy. The first book, for lack of a better word, is simply magical. Because I am so familiar with the series, I forgot how we enter into Harry's life with no knowledge of the wizarding world whatsoever. We haven't been to Diagon Alley, visited Hogwarts, defeated a troll, encountered a baby dragon, learned how to make objects fly - everything is new & exciting! Even though the book has its dark components (looking at you, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named hanging out behind a turban), the lasting feeling that I got from it was purely joy.
Harry not only discovers literal magic, but he finds magic in his relationships as well. He has friends, true friends, probably for the first time in his life, & they're the best friends one could ever hope for. Harry, Ron, & Hermione truly taught me what friendship and loyalty should look like when I was growing up reading these books (I even wrote a college entrance essay about it).
After naming what I really got from this first text - joy, magic, & friendship - the next step was to translate that into a sock design. I know, I'm a crazy person. But this is what I live for! I love to design inspired by a concrete person, place, or theme, so this is my dream come to life right here.
I started with the yarn. It was love at first sight with me & Hedgehog Fibres Fools Gold. Beata frequently Instagrams her ridiculously beautiful colorways, & when I saw Fools Gold several years ago I knew there was no going back. It cemented its place as my favorite colorway of all time & not a single skein of yarn has been able to uproot it. So when I saw two skeins at Knit 1 almost 2 years ago, I snapped them up - but until this project they had stayed unwound & unused! I know, blasphemy!
But this is the kind of yarn that's so good that I had to have the perfect project for it. And this was definitely it. This yarn inspires in me the same feelings I get when reading Harry Potter, & the first one in particular. It is straight up magic. It's like warm joy is running through my veins. Also it's called Fools Gold - which is essentially the Sorcerer's Stone. Absolute perfection!
The rest of the design honestly came pretty naturally - I knew I wanted to convey Harry as the central point but entwine Ron & Hermione's friendship as well. I achieved this with a simple center stripe symbolizing Harry, & two branches for Ron & Hermione that start at the gusset & later entwine with Harry's stripe as a cable running up the back of the leg.
Of course, a crucial part of my design process was watching Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone several times. I had to get in the mood!
And while if you've made it this far you know these socks are a total nerd fest, if you don't give the slightest crap about Harry Potter (*gasp!*) you could still knit these socks & love them all the same. They were 100% inspired by this book, but I don't like to make anything toooo literal.
I really do love these socks. I've worn them basically nonstop since they came off my needles, & they are perfect for that extra layer of hygge while lying around the house reading, knitting, baking, or doing whatever it is that brings your heart joy. I call them Harry Potter's Common Room Socks because I can imagine Harry (or any of his friends) wearing these while lounging in the Gyffindor Common Room - soaking up all the magic & friendship around them.