I am in the thick of it, poppets. I’ve turned in nearly all of those little reports and things (just one more evaluation left to write), and one final research paper looms before me. I’ve checked out about thirty books, and I’m having a great time researching, but my brain is fried eggs on toast right now. So I’m taking a little break to talk about Weathertop.
It wasn’t until this read-through of the Fellowship of the Rings that I realized how much that volume really is two books. With the other two volumes, it’s easier, as they are completely bifurcated into different locations. But Fellowship, I always thought, is about the fellowship! The nine companions that set out from Rivendell. But it doesn’t take a literature degree to realize that is the subject of book 2 of the 6-book set. Book 1 is the story of the ring coming to Frodo, and his quickening flight to Rivendell. The immediate enemy in book 1 is not Sauron, but the black riders. The battle at Weathertop is the climax of that story – the revealing of the pale kings. Frodo himself is powerless to rebuke these ancient powers, earning only a laugh in response. but strands of hope come from invoking an older story: simple fire wielded by the heir of Numenor, and a cry of “Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!”
The scarf that aligns with this part of the story reminds me more of the seemingly endless trek toward and away from Weathertop. Aside from the action-packed climax itself, this is the part of the book where I always tend to get stuck. Lots of walking. Anxious walking. Through woods and marshes. Then more walking. Knitting this scarf felt like that.
The pattern is, to be fair, quite clever. It’s a six-row repeat, completely reversible, with not an SSK in sight.
This meant there was something fiddly to do on every. single. row. And thanks to selecting an extremely fiddly bamboo yarn, this meant that I had to pay very careful attention to every very boring row. Susan calls this a quick weekend knit, but I struggled through this almost exclusively for nearly two weeks.
This is partly because I made it so long, but I blame the yarn for that. The yarn was a little something we had picked up during our crazy South African layover five years ago. (My stash backlog has gotten pretty severe.) This 100% bamboo yarn is native to South Africa, and is called “Vinnis Colours: Serenia” per the ball band. I’m pretty sure it’s marketed in the US as “Be Sweet.” Anyway, it came wound in a ball, and looking at the ball I thought it would stripe. Not so much. The beginning and the end of the ball have a dark stripe, and the rest was a long stretch of tan.
So you see, my choices were to make it embarrassingly short, have an oddly-placed dark brown stripe somewhere 2/3 down its length, or have it embarrassingly long. So long that my husband didn’t even get a picture of the whole thing when I modeled it this weekend.
It comes down somewhere just above my knees. It’d be better as a priest stole, really – it’s about the right thickness.
I decided to get a little clever, and invented a new kind of scarf knot to get rid of some of the slack:
It’s just tying a normal through-the-loop knot, leaving one end longer, then taking the longer end back around my neck and through the new hole I just made. I’m sure someone else has invented this before, but in case no one has – I claim it!
It’s still rather long this way, and I have some work to do on evenness. But I think it will keep the length in the realm of “functional.” And the color goes with my entire dirt-colored wardrobe. Hooray!
Just one more slog through the next two weeks, and I may not master the One Ring… but I will get a “Master of Divinity.” That sounds far more pretentious.