A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: quidditch

I haven’t been able to do as much making as normal since I hurt my thumb at quidditch practice a couple of weeks ago.

I actually think I was rather lucky. The injury was absolute agony at the time. I was convinced my thumb was broken. On the way to get it x-rayed, I felt like I was cursed. Images of hand surgery, weeks of recovery and permanent damage to my dominant hand filled my mind. What if my fine motor skills were affected? What if I no longer hand the ability to take a project from idea to reality?

The x-ray revealed no fractures, for which I was incredibly grateful. But that was where the diagnosis ended. My thumb was either sprained or strained, I was told not to play contact sport for at least two weeks, given a splint and sent on my way. I was so worried that I went to my GP on the Monday, but they weren’t able to give me any clearer information, apart from telling me again that soft tissue damage takes 2-6 weeks to heal.

I spent the next few days pretty depressed. You don’t realise how much you use your right thumb until it’s hurt. Everything was an inconvenience, I couldn’t craft or exercise and the splint hurt my wrist. In addition to all of this, our regional quidditch tournament was taking place the week after the injury. How could I lead my team and feel I’d made a contribution if I couldn’t play?

I went to therapy and my analyst asked if I’d seen a physio. I laughed- I’ve never been to a physiotherapist in my life. We spoke about how she kept coming up with solutions and advice for me. Was this a response to my feeling powerless in getting better?

Even though it was expensive, going to see the physio was a massive relief. She carefully assessed my hand and told me what she thought was wrong with it- a strained muscle. The power and movement in the thumb was normal. I was unlikely to do more serious damage if I played at the weekend.

Psychologically, I think that having the input from the physio allowed me to switch from feeling like a victim to feeling resilient. Perhaps I was recovering more quickly than expected because I am strong. I also think it was important that I took action and helped myself.

I rested the thumb for the rest of the week and then tried some gentle throwing and catching on Friday. My hand was okay! Amazingly, I was able to play in the tournament with very little pain or loss of function.

Photo credit: More Quidditch Photos on Facebook

Knitting isn’t too painful, so I’ve been making some slow progress on the last long rows of my Wonder Woman shawl. I think it’s looking great! I’m going to Bristol for a conference this week, so hoping I’ll get to finish it up.

Here we have yet another instance of craft reflecting life. Being able to bounce back from an injury and lead my team in the tournament has helped me to feel like a strong and capable woman. A bit like a certain superhero.


I finally sewed my fancy golden snitch pompom onto my purple hat and, overall, I’m happy with how this project turned out.

Here’s what the inferior back pompom looks like.

I am a bit worried that I am the harbinger of the current horrible weather as I will definitely be wearing my hat this weekend!

Yarn: 3 balls of ‘Essential Knitting’

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho (free pattern)

Ravelry project page

Last week I disregarded my inner yarn snob and bought three balls of yarn for £2 in a pound shop. I just couldn’t resist the Unspeakable purple with pinkish metallic thread running through it. For some reason, my camera registers the colour as a sort of royal blue, but I assure you that it is purple IRL.

I decided to make a hat for quidditch. In the unlikely that any readers are not quidditch fans, this is what my team’s kit looks like. 

Since the yarn is so cheap, I hope I won’t worry about getting the hat muddy and washing it. I thought about making a fancy design, but I think I’m going to stick with a simple sparkly purple hat with a massive yellow pompom on top. I LOVE pompoms!

This yarn is DK so I decided to hold it double as I wanted to use the classic cuffed hat knitting pattern I’ve made before. Normally I wouldn’t swatch for a hat, but I did this time. My gauge came out quite large, which was actually a good thing as this pattern makes a hat too small for my enormous noggin. Due to the gauge difference, I am following the pattern as written and, according to my calculations, the hat should fit.

I’ve got to say that I’m not sure I like my yarn snobbery. I tend to think that knitting takes bloody ages, so you might as well use the best materials you can afford. However, a problem with this attitude is that, often, a project just doesn’t turn out the way you planned. When that happens, not only have you sunk dozens of hours into it, but you have made a financial investment on which there will be no return. Hence the numerous unloved sweaters stashed around my house.

Sometimes a good acrylic workhorse yarn is the right tool for the job. It stood up really well in the Boo blanket I made for my sister. I’m seriously considering making one of these for myself. I would just need to choose a design.

Anyway, I’m enjoying this project and I think I will be happy with the end result. My knitting mojo still hasn’t returned, so it’s nice to keep my hand in with small items.

Yarn: 3 balls of ‘Essential Knitting’

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho (free pattern)

Ravelry project page

I decided to cast on a smaller knitting project to give myself a break from my endless sweaters. My knees have taken a real bashing from playing quidditch in shorts, so I thought I would try making some knee pads. Ravelry was quite short on knee pad patterns, so I started out trying to adapt this pattern for babies.

Turns out the baby pattern doesn’t translate that well to adult use. The short-row shaping creates weird knee lumps that I’m pointing to in the picture above.

Cue much unravelling.

I’m still trying to figure out a way to make a functional and nice-looking knee pad. Turns out it is much more difficult than I anticipated! Perhaps that is why a pattern does not already exist. But I am still enjoying knitting this more than my bigger projects, so I don’t mind the head-scratching too much.

Pattern: Improvised

Yarn: Bad Day by the Lemonade Shop

Ravelry project page

This headband was a super quick knit, finished in about two days. It’s made a very handy finished object, solving the vexing problem of how to keep your ears warm if you’re wearing your hair up.

It’s useful for everyday ear protection as well as its primary use- as a beater headband for quidditch. As well as signalling my position, it covers my technically illegal ear piercings (I don’t know how to remove them).

Here’s a blocking shot. The bulge next to the cable is the seam- the headband is not just happy to see me. I moved the band around a couple of times during blocking to prevent fold lines from forming. I then got impatient and committed the cardinal sin of drying it on the radiator as I needed it for a match. However, this is superwash yarn, so it should hold up to the occasional impatient heated drying.

If I find any action shots of me wearing this, I will add them to the post later. Update: Here’s one of me walking home from practice.

Pattern: Hot Mess Headband (free on Ravelry)

Yarn: Lana Grossa McWool Merino Mix 100 (less than one ball)

Ravelry project page

My love of lightweight knits means that most of my projects take me months from cast on to cast off. It’s nice to include the odd quick project in a heavier weight yarn, like the headband I’m working on now.

Before taking this photograph, I had snatched the left needle from the closing jaws of a Circle Line train after dropping it on the floor. It was like something out of Indiana Jomes. Who says knitting isn’t a hobby for the casual thrillseeker?

Knitting a black ribbed hot mess beater headband

I probably would have finished this by now had I not redone the cable three times. It just looked wrong each time. I’m going to blame the cold I had at the time.


Pattern: Hot Mess Headband (free on Ravelry)

Yarn: Lana Grossa McWool Merino Mix 100 (less than one ball)

Ravelry project page