women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Helm's Deep

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

A slip stitch wrap from the needles of Susan Pandorf
Size: 76 inches wide by 16 inches deep
Materials: 3 different colors sock yarn: 600 yds. MC (copper), 400 yds. CC1 (grey blue), 300 yds. CC2 (cream)
Sample knit with Madelinetosh Tosh Sock: Golden Hickory, Stovepipe, & Milk
Size 5 (US) circular needle (32 inch or larger)
stitch markers

Gauge: 7 st = 1 inch
Intermediate level
charted pattern

Tolkien had a thing for colors. He viewed them as symbolic. I have tried to be faithful to that spirit in my interpretation of the fortress and battle known as "Helm's Deep".

The shawl is knit in a deep blue gray for the walls of the fortress itself, amber for the Elven army which arrives to stand with those of Men. (Tolkein always clothed the elves in autumnal colors because they were a fading civilization ; in the autumn of their existence in Middle Earth), and white, which represents both Gandalf the White and Shadowfax, whose urgent mission and timely arrival with the Roharrim help turn the tide of battle.

The shawl is knit in a crescent, from the bottom edge up, using lace in a cogwheel pattern at the bottom edge to represent the wheel which raises & lowers the gate, slip stitches in gray & amber to evoke the walls of the keep and short rows for the remainder of the shawl.

The shawl is then finished with a petite 2 color edging at the top and the entire pattern has a bit of a steampunk vibe going on. It is wide, capacious, and perfect for throwing on next time you go into battle - lol...

Be aware - the slip stitch portion of the pattern is charted only; there were too many repeats within repeats to lend themselves easily to written directions. Other sections have both charted & written directions. 

I appreciate your patience and thank you for your enthusiasm. I do hope you enjoy knitting this one as much as I did.


Lindr said...

This is beautiful! So excited to make this shawl. Thanks for the explanation of your color choices; it's very interesting.

Sarah Elizabeth said...


Corina said...

I came across your blog when surfing on Ravelry - my! you make very pretty designs (and I'm a fan of LOTR too)!