The Dwarven Knitter

December 31, 2012

My Dearly Beloved is off to The Hobbit tomorrow.  He has found a place in Munich that is showing it in English.  We have to see the film in shifts because the Little Rabbits are just a bit too young to go.

So there is Hobbit in the air and I thought it was time to share my discoveries with you.

As you know from my last post about The Hobbit, it is the knitwear that has me really, really excited.

Thanks to a lovely reader who sent me a great article on Ann Maskrey, the costume designer for The Hobbit, a little detective work and my sister-in-law doing the Facebook research (I am not with the Facebooky), I managed to find out a bit more about our mysterious dwarven knitter.

Her name is Beverley Francis from Wellington, New Zealand.  She was a full time Costume Assistant/Dresser for The Hobbit. She did all that incredible dwarven knitting and some armour dressing.

So Beverley Francis, I pay you homage.  Your work is amazing.  The stitch and yarn choices have created such richly charactered garments.  We can read them as we read a book.  I hope we get to hear more about you and your work.

Does anyone know if she has a Ravelry name?

In my search for the Dwarven Knitter, I also stumbled upon the folks responsible for those gorgeous woven grey cloaks worn by the Fellowship.  I am sure lots of LoTR folks already know about them but it was all new and wonderous to me. They are the Eldridge familiy of Stansborough sheep station in Wairapara, New Zealand. They raise their ancient rare-breed sheep called Stansborough Greys, shear and grade the fleece which is then worsted spun ready for weaving at their historic weaving  mill in Wellington on machinery from the 1890s. Oooo, I love this sort of stuff – and all with such a small carbon footprint (if you live in NZ especially).

Since supplying the cloth for Lord of the Rings, they have made woven cloth for other films including Lucy’s Red Cape in Narnia: Prince Caspian.

They have recently begun producing Mythral, a small range of woollen spun 8 ply (Double Knitting) knitting yarns.  The colour range includes the natural grey and some over-dyed colours from ecologically responsible dyes. This is the Mythral Ravelry page.


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