The Story Behind the Hedgewitch The Story Behind the Hedgewitch

The Story Behind the Hedgewitch

By Nat Raedwulf

The Story Behind the Hedgewitch The Story Behind the Hedgewitch
Wow! I am just so blown away by how many people have shown some BIG LOVE to my Hedgewitch Shawl pattern during the Hedgewitch Shawl KAL hosted by Fiber Trek and The Gentle Knitter.  

Since so many people have become interested in the pattern, I feel called to share a little write up I posted around the time of its initial release... a background story of sorts about what inspired me to create it and why I named it Hedgewitch. 

It began with me wanting a thicker, more substantial shawl in the hap-style that I could use in place of a sweater (or a jacket) when I was out during cooler days and nights. What is a hap you ask? I think Interweave explained it most succinctly in their online article Knitted Shawl or Blanket: What is a Hap?

“A hap is a garment which anyone can use to wrap up warmly [in]—that’s the definition of the word,” says native Shetland spinner, knitting designer, natural dyer, and teacher Elizabeth Johnston. Indeed, according to Collins English Dictionary, the Scottish definition of hap in its verb form is “to cover” or “to wrap warmly.”

So now that we know what a hap-style shawl is... 


Knitting the Hedwitch Shawl by Nat Raedwulf

What is a Hedgewitch? 

The term is from Celtic / Gaelic origins. A Hedgewitch is a healer, a medicine woman, or man who travels past the boundaries (or hedges) of their villages into the wilds and beyond. Nature is their religion, often practising healing modalities in herbcraft, wildcrafting and nature reverence. They have a special relationship with plants and have an uncanny knack for knowing which ones grow where, when to harvest them and how to use them. The Hedgewitch is the ones willing to cross borders, confront all manner of wild things (sometimes befriending them) in the name of bringing back medicines and wisdom to their communities benefit and wellbeing. 

They are spirit workers… travelling between this world and the next. They don’t stick to the well-known paths but cross borders and follow their instinct to where most would not. To the Hedgewitch, there is no separation of magic form normal life as normal life is magical. 

Historically, Hedgewitches were the wise ones of the community that people relied on for healing. They were the brave ones that would go into unchartered territories and defy the boundaries of the village most would spend their whole lives contained within. 

There are still Hedgewitches practising alive and well in the world today… sometimes preferring to keep to themselves, sometimes offering their talents to the world under the guise of many titles. They are healers, community leaders and activists. They are protestors, immigrants and feminists. They are those who are willing to cross the lines in the name of what they know to be true and right and to facilitate healing in their communities.

The Hedgewitch Shawl is a tribute to these ancestral and modern-day wise people. It is a reminder of the old ways, a connection to the past, and a promise that there are indeed Hedgewitches still in the world today. It is a garment intended to keep one warm while journeying through wild terrains and beyond borders (or just to wrap up in cozy by the fire, on the beach or in your garden). 

The Hedgewitch Shawl is being offered for 20% off during the Hedgewitch KAL (Ending January 20th 2019). Please use the code HedgewitchKAl to receive your discount. 


Find the Hedgewitch Shawl on Ravelry or on wolfandfaun.com

2 comments


  • Thank you so much. Your post is very interesting and quite inspiring. I follow you with great pleasure. And sorry for my school like English…from France.😻

    Bernadette Saint Dizier on

  • Finding this post (and your “Dùsgadh” post) so inspiring. Love that you are bringing old ideas, ways and words into the present.

    Melanie on

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