I recently knitted the Fika shawl by Karie Westermann, which is part of her Hygge collection. Hygge is a Danish concept that loosely translates to cozy, and Fika is a Swedish custom, a coffee or tea break with a sweet or sandwich. Warmth, comfort — the respite we all need from a world eternally full of strife. The more I thought about Hygge, the more I couldn’t stop thinking about the concept of the hearth.

Hearth and home. The center of the house — all are drawn to. Warmth, both literal and figurative. Nourishment, the same. Wordplay: heart, art, earth, eat, heat. Hestia, Vesta, the Greek and Roman goddesses meaning hearth, fireplace, altar. Do we not need to make these things, all these things, sacred (once again)?

I used Malabrigo Mechita as the yarn (a dream to work with) and chose the color Dried Orange (can you smell orange peels drying by the fire for winter treats?). The shawl’s wingspan is grand, the largest I have knitted. I love it. When I wear this shawl, I feel enveloped in hearth and home no matter where I go. I know the lace pattern is of falling leaves, but can’t you also see little hearth fires, too?


I think of Fika as my portable Hygge. Many thanks to Karie for another knitting pattern that is so, so much more than a knitting pattern.

The small stuff: scarves and shawls are 2 coupons, and since this one is handmade, it cost one coupon. But, since I’m hitting the tea ration, it gets doubled and becomes two coupons once again!


Clothing: 0 out of 66
Soap: 0 out of 12
Tea: 7 out of 30


  1. You’ve done a wonderful job of expressing these feelings–you know how I try to put such feelings into words and I wish I’d written this! AND your shawl is lovely–the embodiment, in fiber, of all you’ve written.

  2. Gorgeous shawl and what wonderful musings on the visceral relationship between material, safety, comfort and home, and is the complete opposite of consumerisms view of materialism!

    1. This project really brought out the primal, heat and light seeking, making it yourself with sticks and wool person inside πŸ™‚ It’s so essentially human. David was recently in the desert of Las Vegas photographing, and he experienced true, no artificial lights around darkness. It was also really cold. He was thrilled but also terrified as he was alone. He realized how powerful light, warmth, other people are in a way you just don’t with the ubiquitous artificial light and heat we have. It makes you understand the winter solstice in a completely different way.

  3. What a wonderful post! And I absolutely relate to everything you’re saying about the sacredness of heat and hearth and home. I love that you now have this gorgeous shawl to embody these things and literally keep you warm. I’m adding it to my Ravelry queue right this minute. πŸ™‚

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