haps are happening

Hello! If you’ve signed up to my newsletter, you’ll now know that we’ve set a date to open pre-orders for The Book of Haps, which is

next Thursday, May 19th!


By that time, the book will be at the printers. Opening sales a few days prior to the arrival of the book allows us to organise the orders and prepare everything for shipping. Having done this a few times now, I know that this kind of efficient preparation in the interim between a book’s submission to press and its delivery can really make all the difference! To keep things running smoothly, we’ve also decided to suspend sales of our other products during the pre-sale period – so if you think you might need some Buachaille or one of my other books between now and the end of this month, I would suggest you pop over to the shop and order it soonish.


A few folk have also been in touch to ask exactly what’s in the book, and, more fundamentally . . .

What is a hap?

A hap is a Scottish dialect word for a simple shawl or wrap.
Haps have a particular association with the Shetland islands, where, for more than a century, they were knitted for everyday wear as well as for sale.


What’s in the book?

Combining textile history with contemporary design, this book explores the story of the hap through five beautifully illustrated essays, and thirteen stunning patterns.

While the first part of the book looks to the past for inspiration, exploring the many different contexts in which haps were made and worn, the book’s second half acts as a springboard to the future, as designers from around the world present their own interpretations of the hap.

From Nevada and Finland to Reykjavik and Burra Isle, the patterns in these pages are as distinctive and varied as their designers’ locales. Haps may well surprise you: they can be square, triangular, or hexagonal, incorporating lace, cables, or colour. Though haps are, by definition, functional, wearable textiles, you’ll find they can also be elegant and fascinating, graphic and abstract.

Whatever your knitterly interests, you’ll find the Book of Haps an endless source of inspiration and a canvas for your creativity.

Contributors to the book

Jen Arnall-Culliford, Martina Behm, Roslyn Chapman, Kate Davies, Carol Feller, Lucy Hague, Romi Hill, Bristol Ivy, Gudrun Johnston, Hélène Magnússon, Donna Smith, Hazel Tindall, Tom van Deijnen, Veera Välimäki.

by Tom Barr, on location in Shetland and Scotland.

tom5 copy

It has been a rather odd week for me, combining the elation of a final research discovery with the mild horror of the unexpected removal of a wisdom tooth (ouch). But I am incredibly excited about The Book of Haps – its been such a wonderful collaborative project to work on – and precisely because of its collaborative nature I think I might be more proud of it than any of my previous publications. Its also going to be a really lovely object. I just can’t wait for you to see it!

I’m going to try to take it easy for a couple of days, and will be back next week with more news about the book. (The front cover, and first design, will be revealed on May 19th!)

I hope you enjoy your weekend xx