In the Swedish medieval ballad Havsfrun, Herr Olof rides to the realm of the Sea Witch. She welcomes him and says she’s been waiting for him for 15 years. She asks where he is from and where his fields are, and his parents and his beloved. He answers they are all in the king’s realm. The Sea Witch then offers him the clearest wine from her jug and then asks all the same questions again. Herr Olof now answers that his fields and his home are here in the realm of the Sea Witch. She is his beloved and he would like to live and die with her.
The stole shows the flowing, swirling waters of the Sea Witch’s realm, and in the centre the waters separate to make way for her lands and fields. When I was designing it, I really wanted the flowing waters to be a central feature of the stole, so the waves continue from end to end. When the water separates to show the fields, the waves still undulate in a sine-wave on each side of the fields.
The yarn I used was a decadent 100% cashmere lace from Hedgehog Fibres in a colourway called Ink. Ink is a dark blue/black colour that I thought captured the dark alluring waters in the realm of the Sea Witch.
Blocking the Havsfrun stole was a little bit more time-consuming than many of my other designs, because the long edges had to be pinned out in curves. But I think the result was totally worth it. The waves look so alluring.
Havsfrun is the first shawl in the Folk Song KAL that is just starting up this week. There will be two more patterns – one in April and one in May – based on different folk songs. Next we are headed to the Maritimes with a Canadian Folk Song. But more on that a different day.