Boy and Girl Knitting

by Derwentwater Designs?




Once, in Wendy’s Boulder salon.


Either a reproduction of an original, or perhaps a variant by the original artist (I discovered this rendition on an Etsy-style site circa October 2018 that has since become untraceable). The children in the film version wear only white and blue like the Grady twins, like Alice in Wonderland, and a bit like Danny in his first outfit.

Also, there’s a company called Derwentwater Designs that made knitting patterns for amateur reproduction. I’ve recently discovered that a painting that appears later in the film is very likely depicting an area of England called Derwentwater. The ghost of the hotel’s last manager, Horace Derwent, appears to vex novel Jack throughout that story, and I’m wondering if Kubrick had a few Derwentwater knittings ordered up (there’s two wall hangings in Suite 3 of butterfly gardens which might also be such knittings).


This could be interpreted a few ways, but I like to think it’s simply to remind of Danny’s vision of the twins from moments ago. Since Danny gets his vision from Tony while staring in the direction of this knitting, it seems to slightly undermine the veracity of Tony’s psychic power. A highly perceptive audience member might’ve thought, “Oh. That’s where he got the white-and-blue twins from. The wall knitting.” But just as Woman and Terrier foreshadows Danny’s neck bruises, this foreshadows the return of the twins, just as Horse and Train foreshadows…but we’ll get to that.

As for its appearance in a hair salon, this could be a slight reference to the fact that Wendy from the novel has golden locks that King keeps reminding the reader about. Kubrick’s Wendy has black locks (even though “pink and gold” are her favourite colours), and Kubrick’s Grady daughters are transformed into twins. So perhaps these clues are meant to work off one another to show how Kubrick has manipulated his film to obscure King’s inspirations. As for Wendy being a “Goldilocks” figure, there’s actually two fables that could be referencing. There’s the well-known Goldilocks and the Three Bears (film Wendy is associated to bears), but there’s also The Story of Pretty Goldilocks, which has a much different tale to tell, involving a fountain of youth being used to murder a greedy, Faustian king.

Before I proceed, if you don’t know what Aarne-Thompson (AT) codes are, and how they appear in the film, head here.

If Kubrick suspected King was making more use of The Story of Pretty Goldilocks, the Aarne-Thompson code for that folktale is 531, and the twins knitting exits the film at 14:31 (1 + 4 = 5/31). The 531 code is better known as The Clever Horse. Wendy and the doctor are just about to pass Horse and Train by Alex Colville, a painting of a seemingly unclever horse speeding headlong into an oncoming train, which seems to echo the way Hallorann was destined or doomed to walk headlong into Jack’s axe. Something that happens while, on the opposite side of the film, Danny lays on a giant bear pillow (Goldilocks is caught by the three bears, while sleeping in their beds – and Hallorann is murdered by a man standing beneath a painting called Chief Bear Paw).

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The Clever Horse is also composed of the Thompson motif code 341, which figures largely in Tales of Predestined Death/Prophecy of Death. And these numbers appear on a box behind Wendy as she drags Jack into the storeroom. The image below doesn’t show that box (in fact, that box disappears once the shot is of Jack reacting to his imprisonment), it’s just the closest thing to that moment that I have on the site. But in the moment where it is visible, Hallorann is saying, “Is Tony the one who tells you things?” Danny says, “Yes.” And Hallorann replies, “How does he tell you things?” The exact code B341 (referring to The Clever Horse) is for when a Helpful animal’s injunctions [are] disobeyed. If Hallorann is the horse from Horse and Train, it was he who told Danny to stay out of room 237, and it was Danny’s going into room 237 that (more than any other event, I feel) forced Hallorann to have to come. So helpful Hallorann’s injunction was disobeyed, thus resulting in his prophesied death coming true.

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And Danny learned about room 237 from plucking the number out of Hallorann’s head, presumably. Or did Tony show it to him? At exactly 2:38 into the talk between Danny and Dick (29:15-31:53) is when Hallorann is trying to get Danny to summon into memory what Tony might’ve shown him about the Overlook, and at this moment, Danny diverts the conversation by saying, “Mr. Hallorann, are you scared of this place?” Does he do this because Tony just flashed him room 237 for the first time, unbeknownst to us and Dick?

He says the words “room 237” for the first time in the out-of-nowhere phrase “What about room 237?” at exactly 33:33, and AT 333 is the code for Little Red Riding Hood, which appears above Jack when he’s being woken by Grady in the store room, and, as you’ll read in my analysis of that piece, is technically what Hallorann becomes on his way to save Danny. He wears a red toque as he drives the red snowcat up Mt. Hood. He’s a little red, riding Hood.

Oh man! In the mirrorform sequence for Danny asking about room 237, Jack is doing his “You’ve had your whole fucking life to think things over, what’s a few minutes more gonna do you now?” line, and the F21 photos on the walls to the sides of the great fireplace add up to 33 on the west side, and 37 on the east side. Or 33-37. Which is like a mashup of Little Red Riding Hood (333) and 337, which happens to be the Thompson Motif code for Fairy grateful to mortal for saving his life.

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As for how this relates to the Grady twins, well, maybe it’s to draw our attention to these “twin” Goldilocks stories, published 139 years apart, as it happens.


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It first appears overlapping with Jack’s head as he begins to climb the last 8 stairs that will take him to the spot that overlooks the lobby, where he’ll mark his trapper’s camp. It will vanish off-screen 7 seconds later, flying over this wall rug that I call the lightningrug (which I believe is meant to invoke the Norse god Thor, as you can read about here), then the red doors at the end of the hall, behind which Danny hides in his Hansel and Gretel-style steel cage, and finally over the paintings Beaver Swamp and Mist Fantasy, before passing the wall rug I call the “mazerug” and leaving the film for good. Again, read my wall rug analysis for why it’s cool that twins would connect these two rugs.

But the Beaver Swamp/Mist Fantasy thing is cool since: 1) both those paintings have an alternate title that includes the place they were painted, which is Algoma, Ontario, Canada, 2) both are by a Group of Seven artist who has another painting seen somewhere in the lobby (Maligne Lake for Lawren Harris and The Solemn Land for JEH Macdonald), and 3) both paintings repeat in the bloodfall hall, which is like a twin location for this location. So there’s a whole lot of twinning going on here.

And while everyone in the film has a certain duality to them, I like that this piece would touch and hold on Jack’s head (from 2:07:03-2:07:07 at the end of the mirrorform) right before he commits the ultimate deed that consigns his soul to the Overlook forever. Because just like how the Grady twins are not the real non-twin Grady daughters, the Jack who appears in the 1921 photo is not the real Jack, but a pale imitation of the complex man that was. You could say something similar for the minotaur man the hotel made him into.

Next art reference: Horse & Train