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Bookish Knits: Middle Earth Edition

Remember that talk about definitions and identity last week? It was fascinating and I have a whole post planned on the eloquent responses I received. As I started gathering book-related knitting patterns on Ravelry for this month I realised we don’t use the term ‘reader’ nearly enough.

Bookworm is a good substitute, yes, but it doesn’t cover the breadth of how I read. Yes, I read books. I devour them, to drag out an oft-used metaphor. I read seven books in January alone and I’m about to finish two in the next couple of days and yes, KN Reads will be returning soon. Books are great and I love them but I also read copious amounts of magazines, newspapers (easy access through work), and online news sites. I read poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. That’s not even getting started on the amount of blogs I read.

So why don’t we call ourselves readers as much as we should?

(Yes, I do have the Jane Eyre quote running around my head every time I write that word: Reader, I married him.)

Regardless of definitions and my usual noisy brain, Lord of the Ring feels like a core part of my being. The movies were my gateway drug into the lush, expansive worlds of Tolkien; enchanted, I walked away from the first movie and buried myself in the huge three-in-one tome my uncle had bought me a couple of years before. The size of it intimidated me and I put it aside until I realised the wonders it held.

In fact my name, Polo, is a nickname I picked up during my time in the old MSN chatrooms roleplaying as a hobbit. So yes, it is a core part of me.

I almost called this collection ‘Lord of the Rings edition’ but, considering the size of his world, I have changed it to ‘Middle Earth’.

There and Back Again Story Scarf

by Frivolite Handcrafts

There and Back Again Scarf
Click pattern link for image credit.

I had to have this pattern at the helm. The level of detail and nerdiness enclosed in this double-knit scarf makes my geek self so, so happy. I don’t actually like The Hobbit all that much (book or movie); I read it after Lord of the Rings and was disappointed, but the story is important to the world and why not learn to double knit for such a worthy project? I would make it for my Dad if he wore anything other than dark blue.

Mirkwood Socks

by Margareta Marisch

Mirkwood Socks
Click pattern link for image credit.

Since I started with The Hobbit, let’s continue for another project. Mirkwood was the one place in The Hobbit that caught my imagination. There was a small wooded area near my home as a teenager that always smelled damp, even on dry days, and the trees were dense enough that not much light got through. It doesn’t exist any more (sacrificed to the New Road Gods) but in my head I knew it as Mirkwood. Even if I didn’t see any Elves.

The Gates of Moria

by Natalia Moreva

The Gates of Moria
Click pattern link for image credit.

What is it about fandom that brings out the crazy complicated fair isle mittens? Whatever it is, I want more of it. We’re moving on to Lord of the Rings now and standing in front of an impenetrable wall held closed by a riddle. When Frodo calmly gives the answer, mellon, I realised that Hobbits were far more awesome than I had heretofore realised and would need many of them in my imagination for the rest of ever.

Treebeard Socks

by Claire Ellen

Treebeard Socks
See pattern link for image credit.

A good leaf motif in knitting is always pleasing, especially when you say ‘leaf motif’ aloud. Even better is having one named after the greatest of Ents. My friend and I used to walk around the library at school doing big, dramatic, slow strides and announcing that we were Ents, which should give you some kind of an idea how popular and cool I was back then.

Galadriel’s Mirror

by Susan Pandorf

Galadriel's Mirror
See pattern link for image credit.

Maybe it’s the depressing lack of female characters in Tolkien but Galadriel captured my imagination more than most when I was reading the book. Lothlorien is an eerie, beautiful place, and Galadriel’s struggle against the ring matched its surroundings well. She fought against her own nature and won. Though we see little of her extensive history there are enough hints to make her well-rounded and, let’s face it, Cate Blanchett did a fantastic job in the movies.

Arwen Fingerless Gloves

by Tabitha’s Heart

Arwen Fingerless Gloves
See pattern link for image credit.

Yes, she isn’t technically in the book, but she gives me an excuse to talk about something else: the appendices. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where, upon seeing a small novel worth of appendices, I got excited and dove right in. The story between Aragorn and Arwen was sweet, yes, but there were also words on the languages of Middle Earth and tidbits about hobbits. If you search the appendices carefully you will figure out where I got the name ‘Polo’.

Frodo Baggins

by Juanita McLellan

Frodo Baggins
See pattern link for image credit.

“We’re going on a bit too fast. You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst places of the story, and it is all too likely that some will say at this point: ‘Shut the book now, dad; we don’t want to read any more.’” – The Two Towers

Do you have any favourite Lord of the Rings patterns?

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