I was all prepared to say it was funny to blog about a shawl named after snow (in Shetland, “flukra” means “snow falling in large flakes,” according to Gudrun Johnston) when the weather has finally turned to spring here. The last few days have been amazing: sunny and warm enough to ditch my parka in favour of my wool pea coat (that is, finally peaking about 0C/32F). But then this morning I looked out the window and it’s snowing again. The weather channel says it’s -2C, going down to -15C over night. So yeah, winter is still here. But, I have a cozy and lovely shawl named for the season, so I really can’t complain. (Plus, it’s Canada, so who were we kidding? There’s always snow in March.)
Flukra is amazing. I’ve worn it nearly everyday since I finished it and I am not even close to tired of it yet. There are a lot of reasons I love this shawl, but certainly one of them is the size. It blocked out to 63 inches wide and 23 inches deep, which may be just about the perfect size. I tend to wear shawls kerchief-style, and I like it when I can drape a shawl around my neck and know it isn’t going to need constant adjusting to both stay on and look nice. Flukra is perfect n both counts, though I don’t yet have any photos of my wearing it, so you’ll have to just take my word for it.
Everyone who knits one of Gudrun’s patterns always raves about it and I can absolutely see why. Her instructions are clear but not overwrought. I find some patterns include so much detail you get lost in it, but these directions were to the point, with a couple of helpful hints and photos included with the charts. I will absolutely have another of her shawls on my needles soon (maybe this one? knit in this?) . Flukra used the new-to-me, but traditional Shetland construction for the body, which is worked bottom to top, beginning with a single stitch. This means the garter stitch ribs of the middle portion are horizontal, which leads to a beautiful (and so, so soft) cowling affect when you wear the shawl (you know how you have to sort of fold down the top part of a triangular shawl to wear it around your neck? This way it sort of folds in on itself. This drapey quality makes the shawl excellent to wear, but tricky to photograph.)
The yarn I used is also new to me and it is heavenly. I find I’m often drawn to one yarn or another because of the colours, rather than the fibre content, but this yarn (Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Luxe) is probably the first really luxurious yarn I’ve ever knit with, and it’s making me want more. The cashmere bloomed every so slightly when I blocked the shawl, and the silk gives the colours a very subtle shine, which combined with the structure of the merino is a pretty delicious combination. When I was originally thinking about knitting Flukra, this wasn’t the kind of colour I had in mind, but now I’m so glad I went this route. This colourway somehow manages to go with everything.
Pattern: Flukra by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Luxe in Mystery
Notes: Like many others, I chose to knit a garter border instead of the lace edging, which worked well with the heavier yarn (the pattern is written for laceweight). I continued the increases in the edging, but used kfb instead of yarn-overs. And that’s pretty much it. I increased the body to the specified size and did everything else as written. Ravelled here.