"All those poor elves I haven't set free yet, having to stay here over Christmas because there aren't enough hats!"
-- Hermione Granger (OP21)
Hermione started out her fifth year by magically knitting hats and socks for the Hogwarts house-elves, believing she could free them with clothes (OP13). Harry could tell Hermione was getting better with her knitting charms since he could soon distinguish the socks from the hats (OP16).
However, Dobby told Harry that most of the Hogwarts elves found the clothes insulting and refused to clean Gryffindor Tower anymore (OP18). Harry couldn’t bring himself to tell Hermione that she wasn’t actually freeing house-elves daily with her creations (OP21).
- Each night, since the other House Elves ignored the clothing, Dobby gathered up all hats and socks Hermione had knitted and carried them away on his head: "His large, pointed ears were now sticking out from beneath what looked like all the hats Hermione had ever knitted; he was wearing one on top of the other, so that his head seemed elongated by two or three feet, and on the very topmost bobble sat Hedwig, hooting serenely " (OP18).
- When Hagrid returned from his quest to meet with leaders of the Giants, Hermione went to see him wearing one of her own "knobbly elf hats" (OP20).