Design: Hélène Magnússon
Skakki is a traditional everyday Icelandic shawl. It is a simple garter stitch triangular shawl, that was worn crossed over the front and bound at the back, with long wrist warmers that acted as sleeves. The skakkar were usually knitted in the natural colors of the sheep and often decorated with a few stripes and/or bands of openwork, gataprjón (hole knitting), at the bottom.
My design retains all the elements of the traditional skakki except for the bands of openwork that are not confined to the bottom of the shawl but cover the entire wingspan. Each band of openwork is different: some of the motifs come from different areas in Iceland or can be found in other traditional Icelandic shawls. The Skakki shawl is knitted from the top down in the manner that was common for such shawls in the Westfjords of Iceland.
The shawl was originally designed last summer as a prompt for the fundraising campaign of Uppspuni, Iceland first minimill. I used a very special Icelandic wool coming from the Feldfé, a grey Icelandic sheep that has been raised to produce more tog (the long coarse outer coat) than thel (the short soft and fine inner coat). Only four or five farmers have Feldfé today and the yarn is as such a rarity. Not as rare, but still a very special and unique yarn, Gilitrutt Tvíband, my beautiful plied lace made of soft Icelandic lambswool, is a good alternative: I select the wool myself from Icelandic farmers and the natural grey wool is the most difficult natural color to gather.
April 2019: I made a colorful version of this shawl randomly using left overs of Gilitrutt yarn, 9 shades in all. A little PDF is included with the KIT, showing how I used the different colors. I’m not sure you’ll get the exact same result but you can mix the colors together towards the end if any goes missing. You will at least have enough yarn!
Size: One size. Height at center 92 cm/ 36”, wingspan 186 cm/ 73”
Wool: Gilitrutt Tvíband from Hélène Magnússon 100% new wool, 100% Icelandic lambswool, plied lace weight, 2 ply, 25 g skein = 112 m/ 122 yds: 8 skeins needed (between 7 and 8 used).
One color kit: 8 skeins of Basalt grey
Colorful kit: 9 skeins, one of each of the following shades: Askja blue, Moss green, Viking rust, Silene pink, Hafra beige, Natural grey, Natural white, Natural brown and Raven black.
Gauge: 10 cm/4” = 25 sts and 35 rows in garter st after blocking. Gauge is not essential but will affect the yardage needed.
Needles: 3.5 mm / US 4 circular needle; 3 mm / US C-2 or D-3 crochet hook
Notions: darning needle, markers (optional), pins and/or blocking wires.
Kit: the kit contains the wool but not the needles or the other material. The kit doesn’t include the pattern that must be purchased separately. Shipping costs are not included.
Shipping and returns: see Terms & conditions here