I’ve been a mythology nerd pretty much my entire life. Greek, Norse, Japanese, you name it, I love it all. So, when I picked up Neil Gaiman’s excellent book American Gods, I was immediately enthralled by his modern take on my mythological favorites. I found Mr. Wednesday, Gaiman’s sly, American version of Odin, to be particularly magnetic. What con will he pull next? As I followed Mr. Wednesday, his ravens, and the other gods through the novel, a design started taking shape in my head, heavily influenced by Mr. Wednesday’s Norse origins as Odin. I greatly enjoyed using two of my favorite knitting techniques – beading and mosaic knitting – to weave different aspects of Mr. Wednesday/Odin’s mythology into this shawl design:
- Beads are used to represent Odin’s one, glittering glass eye.
- Huginn and Muninn, Odin’s ravens, are my favorite so they are featured prominently on the shawl border.
- Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life, is tightly bound up with Odin in Norse mythology (and plays a huge part in American Gods) so it makes up the center medallion of the shawl border. This mosaic design is based on an ancient Norse rune representing Yggdrasil.
- The number 9 is very important in Norse mythology so you’ll find multiples of 9 all throughout the instructions for this shawl
- For colors, I chose a dark, almost iridescent blue (for Odin’s cloak and the feathers of his ravens) to go with a light, silvery gray (for Mr. Wednesday’s gray eyes and infamous gray suit).
Wearing the finished product and knowing all the mythology woven into it makes the book nerd in me so happy. If you want to please your inner book nerd, grab a glass of mead, pop on the audiobook (or TV show!) of American Gods, and give Mr. Wednesday a little faith to go on as you knit up some literary fun!
Techniques Used with Tutorials Provided:
Garter Tab Cast-On
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Fingering; 100% merino; 420 yd 384 m per 100 g skein)
Main Color (MC): Stargazing; 1 skein
Contrast Color (CC): Silver Fox; 1 skein
US 4 / UK 9 / 3.5 mm circular needle
40” (102 cm) or longer
#8 / 0.90 mm crochet hook
44 Size 6º clear, silver-lined beads
Removable stitch markers, yarn needle
Yardage Estimates from Sample:
MC: 411 yd (376 m), 98 g
CC: 252 yd (230 m), 60 g
Length: 19.5” (50 cm)
Width: 60” (152 cm)
This pattern has been tech edited and test knit.