Nine for Mortal Men
“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
— JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings was my introduction to epic fantasy. The story has never lost its luster for me – I never get tired of re-reading the books or marathoning the movies, and I probably never will. So, when I had this idea for a set of designs inspired by Tolkien’s famous poem, I just couldn’t wait to dive into the details of the story to create something new.
For this design, I wanted to embody the look and feel of Tolkien’s “Mortal Men doomed to die”. When I think of Tolkien’s men, I think of the powerful and deceptively dangerous allure that their rings (and the One Ring) hold over them. In Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, he tells how it was Sauron’s insidious influence that led to the downfall of Númenor, one of the greatest civilizations of Men ever built. Many of the nine Ringwraiths were Men from Númenor corrupted to Sauron’s dark will.
With this long history as inspiration, I imagined a slouchy hat featuring both the nine rings and intricate knots to represent the ensnaring power that the rings bear. I chose a blue yarn for this design as blue was one of the banner colors of the lost city of Númenor. The blue also represents the watery fate of Númenor itself – it sank beneath the sea due to Sauron’s treachery, leaving only a few survivors (who would go on to found Gondor in later years).
Whether you’re a die-hard The Lord of the Rings fan or just someone who loves cables, think of Boromir or Aragorn, start up a The Lord of the Rings marathon, and give this a try! Hopefully this slouchy hat will keep you cozy the next time you happen to find yourself on the road to Gondor.
Yarn Used in Sample:
MadelineTosh Tosh DK (DK; 100% Merino; 225 yd 206 m per 113 g skein); Well Water, 1 skein
16” (40 cm) US 4 / 3.5 mm circular needle
US 4 / 3.5 mm DPNs (or size needed to obtain gauge)
A 32” (80 cm) or longer circular needle can also be used to work the Magic Loop method.
Stitch markers, cable needle, yarn needle
Yardage Estimates from Sample:
209 yd (191 m), 105 g
Circumference (Unstretched): 14” (35.6 cm)
Height (Brim Down/Up): 12” (30 .5 cm) / 9.5” (24 cm)
This pattern has been tech edited and test knit.