Emyn Muil by Susan Pandorf

Emyn Muil

November 2015
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
6 stitches = 1 inch
in lace (blocked
US 5 - 3.75 mm
1225 - 1300 yards (1120 - 1189 m)
84" wide x 36" deep
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Let freedom ring! For all of us.

“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”
-Samwise Gamgee
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

The hills of Emyn Muil, upon either side of Nen Hithoel, were a vast, seemingly impenetrable maze of rocky crags in the region of Rhovanion in Middle-earth.

Emyn Muil lies between the eastern part of Rohan and the relatively empty lands that contained the Dead Marshes and the Nindalf (Wetwang). It was approximately seventy-five miles from east to west and some one-hundred miles from north to south.

At the beginning of The Two Towers, Frodo and Sam, attempting to reach the Black Gate of Mordor, are lost in the eastern Emyn Muil for days until Gollum finds them. After a great deal of persuasion, he agrees to show them the way, leading them south into the Dead Marshes.

The main body design of this shawl, knit from side to side evokes the endless repetition that led Sam & Frodo to become totally lost, winding up right back where they started from.

The bottom edging is knit in garter lace, reminiscent of old Shetland shawls, and the points remind me of mountain peaks as well. I chose Brooklyn Tweed Loft for my sample, due to its rustic nature. Both the texture and color of the yarn seemed appropriate for a location both desolate and (quite a bit) rough around the edges.

A note about yarn selection: Loft is extremely loosely spun. The same qualities that give it such an ethereal lightness make it a challenge to knit with in such a textured piece. My yarn broke many times over the course of this knit; subsequently, I had a lot of extra ends to weave in at the end.
The finished piece held up surprisingly well to blocking, although I did not block aggressively. A gentle touch goes a long way. You may wish to substitute a sturdier yarn. If so, Plucky Knitter Oxford or Jamieson Spindrift would make a nice substitute, although it will be lacking the flecks of color present within the Loft.


The pattern is worked side to side. Top and bottom edging are worked at the same time as the main body of shawl. Short rows are used to shape the center back point.

The main body of the shawl is worked in stockinette lace, while the bottom edging is garter lace.

Pattern has 10 charts: you will be using a maximum of 3 charts on a row - smaller bottom & top edging, along with a larger main chart.

Written directions are provided for all charts.

Double -sided lace with twisted stitches make for a deeply textured shawl.