In 2015 everybody knitted haps. I think it all started with Louise of the Knit British Podcast. She not only talks about british wool and yarn but also about textile traditions from the British Isles- such as the classic Shetland Hap Shawl. In 2016 the hap-bug bit me and I started one made out of my hand spun- I decided to enrol in Gudrun Johnstons craftsy class about the Hansel Shetland Hap.
I knit the full version, but I chose worsted handspun instead of dk- so my shawl ended being huge- and I love it. The knitting is easy, because the centerpiece is knit in garter stitch. The border is an easy to follow some kind of feather and fan pattern, the so called ‚old shale‘. The edging is a bit tricky as it is an elaborate knit-on-the-go lace edging. When you knit the full version of the Hansel and not the kerchief be prepared to end up with much fabric to turn around while knitting the edging.
This shawl is worth every effort. The blocking is a hard piece of work because of the size but when the shawl is blocked carefully, it brings out the elegance of this simple and down-to-earth-design.
I got so much wear out of my first hap, that I decided to knit another one. Again I dived deep into my stash of hand spun. This time I use thinner yarn: an alpaka-merino two-ply. The yarn choices for border and edging have not yet been made- I enjoy sitting in front of my stash cabinet and sorting through the options. As needle choice is really essential with this big piece of fabric knit from the inside out I ordered some new-to-me needles: The Knit Pro Royales 360° with swivel cable to avoid snagging. They have a nice feeling, the tips are rather blunt which I prefer in all needle sizes above 3,5 mm. I am using a 4,0 mm needle. The swivel mechanism works perfect for me and I plan to order more of these while replacing my interchangeables with fixed circulars. Turning the knitting, even if it is already a big piece is much easier and there are truly no kinks in the cable.I love knitting with these needles- and with my handspun. I spun it…maybe in 2013 and since then waited for the right project idea. It is woolen spun and soft through the alpaka, sturdy through the merino. It makes a nice fabric that suits the shetlandish style of this knit accessory: