The Hen Wife by Nat Raedwulf

The Hen Wife

September 2019
DK (11 wpi) ?
17 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches
in Blocked Garter Stitch
US 6 - 4.0 mm
1367 - 1531 yards (1250 - 1400 m)
One Size: Each side is 140 cm / 55" with a depth of 69 cm / 27"
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The Henwife Shawl is a generously sized 3/4 shawl designed to wrap around you and hang nicely on your shoulders much like a wrap or a blanket. I love to wear mine over my nightgown, when popping out to collect eggs or to the beach during chilly evening walks.

This shawl is inspired by the wise woman of its namesake, who is both a domestic matron and keeper of the hearth while also possessing knowledge of the old ways and secrets of the wild. She is a partner, a mother and a beloved member of the community while also embracing her role as a witch, a seer and possessor of magic. I believe there are many Hen Wives amidst us, tending to their communities while honouring the wild women within themselves.

I want to thank my lovely batch of testers and my tech editor Melinda of rhysFlowerKnits for making this a great pattern!

Errata: On Chart A, the written instructions on Row 21 has an extra erroneous yo at the end. The pattern has been updated to correct this.
I will leave you with this fabulous excerpt from “Myth & Moor” for they said it best! For more information on the Hen Wife, please be sure to check out their fabulous blog post.

“And this brings us back to the Hen Wife -- that figure of magic who dwells comfortably among us, not off by the crossroads or in the dark of the woods; who is married, not solitary; who is equally at home with the wild and domestic, with the animal and human worlds. She is, I believe, among us still: dispensing her wisdom and exercising her power in kitchens and farmyards (and the urban equivalent) to this day -- anywhere that women gather, talk among themselves, and pass knowledge down to the next generations.


  • The sample was worked with locally produced wool, and as such the yardage and weight are based on best estimates and on tester’s feedback. Please see for more information on how to get in contact with this fibre producer.

  • This shawl is a 3/4 construction with the side panels garter stitch, and the back centre panel consisting of lace, following Charts A through D twice, and ending with a lace border consisting of Charts A & B worked along with all 3 panels.

  • The pattern is both in written and chart form. It has been both tech edited and tested.