So I feel a little weird sharing this. It’s not the average, normal citizen who keeps a spreadsheet in her Google Drive aligning chapters in fictional books with favorite yarns, but, well, you know I’m not exactly a normal person. (Whatever that means.)
And I’ve been looking forward to this for a really long time, saved and collected for it for quite a while, and, well… this is the sort of experience I want to document!
I’ve had The Spreadsheet for over two and a half years. In one column are patterns from Susan Pandorf’s Lord of the Rings series. In another column are chapter numbers and titles; in fact, every chapter from all six volumes of Tolkein’s most popular work. (What, you mean you didn’t know it’s actually 6 volumes, not 3?) The rest of the columns? All yarn. Stats, yardage, recommended, desired, where it is in my stash, etc.
This is happening.
I’ve knit several patterns from Susan’s series over the years. I even test knit for her once. For over three years now, though, I’ve wanted to knit through all of them while reading through the books. My husband has never read them, and we finally finished reading Harry Potter aloud to each other – that took us nearly 4 years, so we’re not in a rush with Lord of the Rings. We’re almost done our Hobbit flavor warm-up, I’ve cleared out all my other major knitting obligations, and I think I’m ready.
What I’ve done in The Spreadsheet is copied down every chapter in the books, and matched up chapters with projects. Every pattern is a piece of the story; it’s related to something that happens. So I’m knitting not in the order that the design came out, but along with the story. (Yes, we’re really not in a rush.) They certainly don’t line up perfectly, but I was more trying to evenly space them out than anything else. Every project goes with just one or two chapters, so I’ll be knitting during more than just our reading time.
It’s a little weird sharing this. It’s like blogging about the linguistics of Klingon. Wait, that would be awesome! Er… Yeah. No use acting embarrassed about the fact that I caper about some of the weirder edges of nerdery. Especially where yarn and needles are involved. So, for the sake of honesty and posterity, and because I really have so much glee about this that I’m not going to be able to keep it to myself, here is the itinerary for The Lord of the Rings, v.1-2: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Chapters – Pattern (object) – Yarn
“A Long-Expected Party” & “The Shadow of the Past” – Bag End (Felted Mosaic Bag) – 6 colors of Patons Worsted.
“Three is Company” & “Short Cut to Mushrooms” – Mithril (Lace Vest) – Yarn & beads undecided (has to be fingering weight, I’m thinking some silk content. I ran across Manos Fino in “Watered Silk” the other day and that might have to be it. Now to find beads…)
“In the House of Tom Bombadil” & “Fog on the Barrow-Downs” – Bombadil (Fair Isle Twisted Stitch Tam) – 2 colors Auracania Ranco and also some yellow
“At the Sign of the Prancing Pony” & “Strider” – Strider (Cabled Lace Cowl) – Plymouth Tweed
“A Knife in the Dark” & “Flight to the Ford” – Weathertop (Reversible Lace Scarf) – Vinnis Colours Sirinia Brown (I think this might be “Be Sweet” brand in the US; we bought it in South Africa.)
“Many Meetings” – Rivendell (Lace Cowl) – Unique Sheep Sock Set
“The Council of Elrond” – Evenstar (Beaded Circular Lace Shawl) – Yarn undecided; not sure if I’m going to do the beads. (Suggestions welcome. I can’t even decide whether to do it in lace, fingering, or heavier to make a blanket.)
“The Ring Goes South” – Legolas (Lace Kerchief) – Sublime DK in Sage
“A Journey in the Dark” & “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” – Dwarrowdelf (Lace Stole) – Madelinetosh Merino Light in “Water Lily”
“Lothlorien” – Lothlorien (Cabled Cape) – Handspun Gradience, cable-plied Wool-Mohair blend dyed by my dear mum (still very much in progress, but I suspect I’ll finish before I need it).
“The Mirror of Galadriel” & “Farewell to Lorien” – Galadriel’s Mirror (Twisted Stitch Lace Shawl) – Dream in Color Smooshy w/ Cashmere in “Dark Current”. Having to save up for this one. Hopefully the color isn’t discontinued by the time I get to it.
What about the fact that Susan isn’t finished with the other two series yet? I guess I finally decided not to worry about it. She’ll finish it if she finishes it; she’s an amazing artist, but I know the pressures of a project like that. Maybe if she doesn’t, I’ll make my own patterns to finish it up! I can’t look years into the future, so I’m going to stop trying. Not when there’s all the above fun to be had right now.
There you have it. All my nerdery, laid bare for you to blink at, dumbfounded, and thank your lucky stars you just collect rocks or whatever. What am I going to do with the finished things? For once in my life, I really don’t know, and I’m not worried about it. I’m in this for the process. No potential income from this experience. Just the gift of reading and knitting and being.
I’m so excited.
(p.s. Yes, for those of you who will ask, this means The Sweater is finished. It needs a blog post suitably epic to wrap it up, which is in progress. Stay tuned.)