Saturday, 11 August 2012

Smoke and mirrors, and Harry Potter

Somehow this week I just never got going on crafting - it was too hot in my craft room / bedroom, my sewing table was buried under clutter, I frittered a lot of time away doing paperwork, blah blah blah. I did finish my machine knitted sweater for the Ravellenics, and I will post some photos further down this note.

So I am going to distract you with smoke and mirrors, and show you some photos of our trip today to see the Warner Bros Studio Tour of "The Making of Harry Potter".  Not crafting on the face of it, but in fact almost the entire exhibition is about the craft behind the film:  the model making, artwork, costume design, prop manufacture, animatronics, creature studio, set design and more.  Unfortunately I forgot to take the proper camera, so these pics were taken on my iphone, which doesn't seem to cope with low light levels very well.  Plus I kept getting my finger in front of the lens.

There was even knitting!  These are Mrs Weasley's magicly self-knitting needles at the Burrow, which really 'knit' when you pushed a button.  Or at least moved.  They were doing a better job than some of the actors who pretend to knit on screen.










And this is a grainy picture of the Christmas jumpers Mrs Weasley knit for the boys, which were on display in the Gryffindor common room.










This is the Potter's cottage in Godric's Hollow, which I thought would make a cool dollshouse (and yes that's my finger).










This is DH on the set for Diagon Alley, which was a huge set with fascinating detail everywhere you looked.










The art studio was full of blueprints for various sets, like this drawing of The Burrow.  I've seen at least two projects online where people are trying to make dollshouse models of this.  And later on you could see card models of The Burrow and artist's impressions, next to the final shots from the film.







Here's a model of Hagrid's Cottage (I think from the first film, before it gained an extra room). I was lucky enough to see the dollshouse version of Hagrid's Cottage by Rik Pierce, I will have to dig out my photos and compare to this model and to the life-size set elsewhere in the studio.











And this is the actual cupboard under the stairs.  This is a standalone set, but they had a full-scale Number Four Privet Drive in the outdoor part of the tour.

If you are at all interested in the world of Harry Potter (and I wouldn't say we are that into it) then I would recommend a visit to the studio.  It is expensive, and you have to book weeks ahead, but as crafters we really enjoyed it.  It really makes you realise the intense amount of labour and hundreds of people behind the scenes to achieve just a few minutes of this type of fantasy film.  I was worried it would be too Disneyfied, and certainly the first few minutes of the tour when you are subjected to chirpy young guides trying to get the crowd to yell louder in excitement before they let you watch a film about the tour weren't very promising.  But after that it is self-guided and much more like a giant Harry Potter museum.  And there is a gift shop - but empty your piggybank if you want to buy anything in there, all very expensive.  It was cute to see kids running around in convincing Hogwarts robes and school ties - slightly more disturbing to see the same items available in adult sizes.  We spent about three hours at the tour and very much enjoyed it.

So here is my machine knitted sweater, done on a Brother 881 using the 'Gauze' pattern from Rowan magazine and using Rowan 4-ply wool.  It's come out fairly well - a bit shorter than I would like and a bit too much ease in the shoulders, but certainly wearable for work once the cooler weather comes.  This and its preceding failure were good exercises in learning how to use the machine again.  I need to keep my momentum going and try something else now.  I also need to frog the failure.



TV knitting this week (some of it in front of the Olympics) has been:

  • starting the next GAAA afghan square:  the Levy square
  • dividing for the neckline on the Eyelet Lace jumper and knitting most of one shoulder
  • almost finishing the body of the second True North mitten
Commuter knitting has been:
  • the multi-coloured shawl from the Jawol ball
  • a cabled beanie hat from the yarn I bought on Orkney
I started to feel like I wanted to start a new knitting project, probably because I finished Piper's Journey and the Ravellenics jumper.  To stop myself, I got out most of my UFOs for a picture.  Left to right these are the Twice-Doomed Tee (waiting for the pleats to be determined), the GAA Afghan, the beanie hat, the Advent Calendar 2010 lace scarf, the eyelet jumper, the Japanese stitch socks, the Selbuvotter gloves, an ancient Estonian shawl, and the True North mittens.  Not pictured is the multi-coloured shawl.  I think I have a bit of a problem.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

That looks really cool, I'd wondered about visiting but been put off as I thought it would be like a theme park!

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