Not lost, I wander

Here is the post where you all get to learn just how much of a Tolkien nerd I am….

This hat had its start a long time ago, when I was learning about working with a second color while knitting. I made a wrist-warmer/bracelet thing with scrap yarn in middle school, I think. Also in middle school, I picked up a book called The Languages of Tolkien’s Middle Earth after finding the rune information in the LOTR appendices fascinating. I proceed to write poetry in Elvish, but I don’t know where the copies of that writing disappeared to…

IMG_20131228_235839 IMG_20131228_235845The wrist warmer. No idea what it says in English.

Anyways, that is the long back story behind my most recent knit project, this hat I made for the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug release day last December. I’m not one for really fully dressing up for movie premieres, but I figured a nod to the film through using the dwarvish runes was appropriate. And bonus – it kept me warm waiting in the chilly line outside! I did learn in the designing of this hat that the darvish runes used by those in the Hobbit were slightly different than those used in the LOTR time of Middle Earth, in case you wanted to know 🙂

The hat says, ‘Not lost, I wander,’ because the full line ‘Not all who wander are lost’ that I wanted to use needed twice as many stitches as I needed for the hat to fit my head.

I kept the shape of the hat a little slouchy, starting from a k2p2 rib and using a seed stitch to add some texture to hat. The color work area is in basic stockinette stitch, which I think works best with working the runes into the knit. I was mildly surprised as to how the tension and/or stitch width changed with the different stitches, the hat is much narrower at the color work than I had planned.

The phrase starts with the first runes after the triple stacked dots on the left-ish side. The three letters really shown here spell out ‘not.’

The dots in between sets of runes are the space markers. The two words here are ‘lost’ and ‘I’. I don’t think there is such a thing as a comma in runes.

I didn’t plan too much out, I knew my head size usually needs between 90-100 stitches in worsted weight yarn (this yarn is a cascade superwash 220) on a size 6 needle, so I used that as a guide for the lettering and then cast on enough stitches to make the letters work. I just sort of ‘felt’ the knitting as I went along, stopping the ribbing and seed stitch and hat as a whole when I felt like it.

And finally, the word ‘wander!’

I had Steph take this picture because the tree next door had bloomed with the loveliest pink flowers but it was both FEBRUARY and SNOWING. Where I come from the two latter do not come after the former. But that is Seattle for ya!


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