Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In Search of Magic ~ A Harry Potter Inspired Knit

This morning I'm out and about early in my new Sssssnake Hat which is a design inspired by the Harry Potter books and I'm in search of a little magic here in Topanga.


I'm sure that if there are any wizards or magicians to be found in Los Angeles, then surely they will be found in my home town of Topanga, a quirky place with eccentric residents. Except for me. I'm perfectly normal. In fact I'm sure that I stand out for my normalcy, but, I bear it as best I can.


I'm on the lookout for a little magic or at least a cup of coffee at Pine Tree Circle which has a cluster of small shops where you can find everything from gourmet cheeses to scented candles, and of course, coffee and an occasional wizard.


But alas, we missed the sunrise and all little fairies and magical folks had scurried off before we arrived. Never mind. I'll try again another day!


Particulars:  The Parseltongue Hat designed by Stephanie Dosen who writes the blog Tiny Owl Knits; US 9 needles (body) and US 8 for hat band; 2 skeins of The Fiber Company Organik.   I used the disappearing loop CO method.  Other than substituting yarn and needle size the only major modification was to add beads for the snake eyes.  I used faceted Czech Glass which I sewed on after washing and blocking the hat to give the hat a little extra razzle dazzle. 

PS If you love Harry Potter (or know someone who does) check out Julie's cute Harry Potter scarf  that she knit for her son's Halloween costume!  His dad made him the magic wand ~ doesn't he look the spitting image of Harry Potter!  If you would like to knit a scarf for your Harry Potter fan Crafy Andy has generously published a free Harry Potter scarf pattern on his blog (ravelry link).  Edit update:  Thank you Willow for pointing out there is a book of Harry Potter knitting patterns called Charmed Knits!

Mr. Puffy's Christmas Wrapping tips!

Many years ago we spent Christmas in Chile and we were in the tiny town of Antofagasta in the days preceding the holiday. This is an industrial town and the farthest most town at the North end of Chile and largely comprised of mine and industrial workers with low incomes. I was struck by the festive feel to this town and the way they came together as a community and, like the Whos of Whoville, they didn't need a lot of money to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.

I always think of this town as Christmas approaches and have made one of their traditions my own.  All along the streets in the days prior to Christmas the shop fronts are lined with small folding chairs and rolls of Christmas paper spread everywhere.  When you purchased a gift you came outside and they would wrap your gift for you in a manner that I have ever since copied and would like to share with you. 


This is a very simple and a fun way to wrap a gift if you don't have a box or even if you do. You simply cut a swath of wrapping paper sufficiently large to encase your gift.  You then create a paper sack by folding over the edges of the paper (only overlap it a small amount) and then tape the edges together.  Then you place your your gift inside the sack (along with some tissue paper) and fold over the top opening.  Tape the top opening closed and you are done!  All that remains is to add a festive gift tag that is attached with a Christmas sticker. This year I purchased my gift tags from Mulberry-Muse but you can find a wide selection of handmade gift tags on Etsy in a variety of prices.

I love a package that crinkles and teases with mystery ~ which this one does ~ and I hope you do too!

Until next time, be well and love well.  Enjoy the spirit of the holidays and don't forget to watch my personal favorite holiday classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

22 comments:

gMarie said...

Lovely hat, beautiful model. Sorry you missed the wizzards.

What a cute way to wrap a gift. i'll have to try that.

the Grinch was already on and I watched it last week. Also really liking Shrek these days. As soon as the studio is back I plan to settle in with Christmas with the Cranks. Enjoy! g

jillian said...

Love it! And thanks for the wrapping tip - that sounds like a nifty method!

Willow said...

I love Harry Potter and personally own Charmed Knits, a knitting book all about house scarves, sweaters and hats. My little New Boy is the proud owner of a couple of Weasley sweaters :)

Thanks for the wrapping tip. I'm working on a box today to send to an APO address so our son can still have a little bit of Christmas even though he's far away.

Andrea said...

That hat looks so cozy! What I wouldn't give to knit with a skein of that yarn!!

Monika said...

I love the new look of your blog. The hat looks great! Wrapping gifts is a fun thing to do. I like the idea of a paper sack.

subliminalrabbit said...

that is a hat of awesomeness. did you see the latest hp movie? i don't know what people are griping about - it's WAY better than the first six. imho.

i'm saving various holiday bags i've received here and there and reusing as much as possible this year! i'm certain i'll have to supplement with some wrapping paper too - can b and i keep it to one roll?

Sue said...

What a wonderful hat! I love the HP movies and would love to knit up something to remind me of those movies. I must go and take a peek at the blog you mentioned too.

raining sheep said...

Oh my goodness, I love the toque. It is fabulous and yesssssss, I can see the snakes. I actually do wrap my presents exactly in that manner - my mom used to do the same. It saves having to get boxes and have all that excess packaging to then get rid of.

Can't believe the first seven days of December are done. Time seems to fly so quickly for me lately. Sometimes I catch myself hoping for this day or that day and then I think, don't rush the days. Enjoy each one because once it is gone, it is gone. Hugs.

Allie said...

Gorgeous hat and you wear it so well! Love the beady eyes. I also love your wrapping tip - I am not good at that job, and this sounds very easy!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Love your hat! We are huge Harry Potter fans here. Thanks for the wrapping tip. One thing we do for presents sometimes is wrap gifts in kitchen hand towels. Cute and useful ;)

Channon said...

Gretchen - a pure-bred crup - has offered to floo out and help you find the wizards...

Love the hat, and I love pretty wrapping paper. I'm not sure how my bum finger will do with wrapping, but there's plenty of time to work on that later!

I still need to finalize my baking list so I can get started next week!

Rebekah said...

Love the hat, it has such great texture.

Hee hee, I have given up on wrapping presents, I'm terrible at it, and I hate spending money on something that gets thrown out. But then I'm a bit odd.

t does wool said...

delightfully charming and mesmerizing post,Claudia..
all the wonderful links..and that hat..
magic for sure my friend...xx

oh...love the blog set up!!

Pam said...

That hat it wonderful! Thank you for posting the tip on how to wrap a gift. I have such a hard time wrapping, and everyone always knows which gift is from me before they even look. I'm going to give your method a try next time.

Rachel said...

You know, I have yet to read or watch any Harry Potter so while I may not get the significance of the hat, I think it's a pretty cool hat! The snakes are awesome (and what a pretty necklace too!).

Maybe one new year challenge should be to read that series...

Hilary said...

That is the cutest hat EVER. The little snakes! I love it! Sorry you couldn't find any wizards, though.

And thank you for the great wrapping tip! I have such a hard time with irregularly shaped objects...I think a wrapping paper sack will be perfect!

Anita said...

Very charming hat! :)

And I love the wrapping paper story, you have the best stories....

betty said...

Very nice hat indeed!

I actually have copy of Charmed Knits. I knitted one of the hats for kids as a gift.

I did discover one thing -- it's actually difficult to find yarns in the exact Harry Potter red/golden yellow colors. The red is particularly difficult to find.

Renee said...

Great hat! Love the beaded snake eyes.
Going to try wrapping some of the gifts your Chilean style this year,
I love your usual salutation - 'be well, love well'! Words to live by.

Windyridge said...

That's a great idea and you can't easily figure out what's inside.

knittingdragonflies said...

This hat looks great! Sssssssssss....I'm scared.
Vicki

Photogenicbliss said...

so pretty!!