The Aracorn Hat

The Aracorn Hat

The name is a portmanteau of Aragorn and corn, as this hat was finished mere minutes after we ended The Return of the King, and it looks like Flint corn (rainbow corn). The yarn is Malabrigo Mecha, in the colorway Archo Iris, and I love it to bits. It’s soft as heck, just butter through the hands, and it knits up in this gorgeous muted jewel-toned rainbow.

A couple nights before the new year, we were sitting at the dinner table mulling over our New Year’s Eve plans, and our son Miles said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we could time it just right, so that Sauron’s eye would be falling right at midnight?” We usually watch Lord of the Rings every year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and after The Hobbit movies came out, we watched those too. This year we’d been a bit late and still had The Return of the King to get through before the clock struck midnight on December 31st. We loved Miles’s idea.

Greg scrolled through the movie and got the timing:

It worked perfectly! At midnight Sauron’s eye fell and exploded, and we all held up glasses of sparkling cherry juice and yelled, “FUCK 2020!!”

Earlier that day I had started a new hat, and then found myself knitting furiously all through the movie. I began to see that I could actually finish the hat if I knit fast enough and I loved the idea of having a souvenir of these last hours of the year. I had to stop for all the parts of the movie that I really love (and make me cry). Every scene with Eowyn of course. When Aragorn asks her what she fears, and she says, “A cage.” And of course her “I am no man,” moment! But oh, after that, battered and spent, when she crawls over to Theoden with the last of her strength, and he says, “I know your face,” and she says she’ll save him, and he says that she already has, and then makes that little speech about how he goes now to his fathers, in whose mighty company he will no longer feel ashamed. <weeps>

Oh here, you can watch it on YouTube if you want:

I also love the scene in the night before the great battle, when death seems certain. Pippin is afraid, and maybe for the first time understands that this is truly likely the end, and Gandalf looks at him with such gentleness, and describes what death is like. The rain-grey curtain of the world falling away, and then you see it: the white shores, and the far green country beyond. And Pippin says, “Well, that isn’t so bad.” My knitting slowed down a few times to soak these (and some other) moments in.


Bulky yarn that I chose to knit up on size 4 needles, because apparently my hands needed a workout (and got one, hoo boy). But the fabric is tight and warm and windproof, so that’s a fine trade (won’t try that with a sweater, though, ow ow ow).

Pattern was simple, just CO 8, join, K1 M1, then K2 M2 for the second row, and then knit, then place markers. Knit one row, then knit an increase round (spiral increases, I love that effect), keep going until the circle is almost as long as my hand, then straight on until Sam marries Rosie. I found some worsted weight green yarn from somewhere to make the little line of green at the brim, but next time I ought to make that section longer, as it rolls up and disappears. CO with Jenny’s stretchy cast-off.

And then make everyone wear it: