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

41 thoughts on “haps are happening

  1. Hi Kate, I received the newsletter, but none of the links in it work for me: I get a blank page every time they load. I would like to preorder the book of Haps, so now what?



    1. Hi Nicki – I’m so sorry about this – I set up a dedicated server yesterday precisely so that this issue wouldn’t arise – but something has clearly gone wrong. We are doing everything we can -if you check back later in the day we should hopefully be all sorted.


  2. Hi Kate,

    I would like to prepurchase has but I would also like to purchase buchaille. Can that be done at the same time?




    1. Hi Tril, you’ll be able to order Buachaille (together with the book) in a few weeks time when the pre-order period has ended. I do apologise – but know from previous experience that it is much more efficient for us (as a very small operation) to handle the pre-orders separately.


  3. I am so looking forward to the release of your new book! It has been a pleasure to follow is development through your blog.
    I also hope you’re recovering well from your dental work and that people have refrained from telling you their wisdom tooth horror stories.


  4. hi kate, I would like to order the new book on haps, not sure of the price, or how to order it as have never bought anything on line. please could you tell me how I can pay by debit card for mail order delivery?


  5. Your new book sounds so magnificent! I hope your recovery from wisdom tooth surgery is quick and not to discomforting.
    I’m surprised that somehow I’m no longer receiving your newsletters, not sure why. This happened before when I signed up for the Buachaille yarn club. Hope we can figure it out.


  6. HaPpy! I cannot wait to learn about Haps plus this will be the first time I have even contemplated knitting one. All the work and research we have followed along the way add to the excitement of waiting for the book.

    I love the last photo, teasing our eyes with your hap out of focus.

    I really hope you can rest after your dental work. Last time I had major work I had the launch of your wool to comfort me. Enjoy the launch with all the designers involved in this journey with you including Tom and Bruce


  7. Thank you for the explanation, I am happy to eventually know what these misterious haps are! The book sounds super-interesting!!!


  8. Sorry to hear about your tooth problems, it’s never a good time to happen – hope it hasn’t detracted too much from all the excitement of your lovely book. Not sure if I have missed something but I’m just wondering, if it’s not too mercenary to ask, how much is it going to cost?


  9. I do hope I can buy your book, when I arrive in Edinburgh 24/5 with my husband and our friends. We are going to spend one week in Scotland and I am so looking foreward to visit your shop.


  10. Wisdom-tooth trouble in the midst of bringing the book to press – certainly not a distraction anyone would have predicted. Heal quickly! We all look forward hap-pily to next Thursday.


  11. I can hardly wait to hold this book in my hands! Sorry to hear about your wisdom tooth. There’s pretty much nothing worse than a trip to the dentist. (Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I’m terrified of the dentist. ) I’m sure Tom and Bruce are taking excellent care of you while you recover.


  12. Already 90 (32C) and humid in Texas so may have to crank up the A/C and dream about knitting a hap (easy to do with Tom’s wonderful photos!)


  13. Sorry to hear about the wisdom tooth, but very HAPpy to know that The Book is imminent. I can’t wait to see what you & your group of diverse designers have come up with.


  14. Oh Kate, I’m so sorry about the Wisdom Tooth! “Horror is just the way I would describe it as well! Honestly I’d rather break an arm….Gosh, I probably shouldn’t have said that…you never know when Ol’ Murphy might be slinking around. Y’all have no idea how excited I am about “Haps”! Waiting for it to magically appear, is like endlessly watching a Pot, waiting for the Water to Boil! I would so like to order enough Buachaille to make a Hap from the Book. I don’t suppose you’d recommend the amount of Buachallie needed for, what you might deem the Basic Hap in Your Book? Being in North Carolina, it does take some time to receive any packages. Although, I must say, with the speed with which my orders have arrived from Y’all, I’ve been wondering if Y’all have a sweet deal with a Plucky Group of Carrier Birds, wanting to Sweeten their Seed Storage. Still and all, to be able to jump in Knitting as soon as “Haps” Arrives, would be Fantastic. I can hardly wait, which seems to be the Consensuses !!! Hope the rest of the Summer Months see’s all Happy and Healthy. Warmest Greeting to Tom and Bruce!


  15. I can hardly wait!! I just LOVE your books and blogs for the wonderful mixture of social history, patterns, anecdotes, colour, fabulous photography……. just sheer joy to read!! Yes, take it easy for a couple of days! You’re going to be very busy come Thursday!!


  16. I will be travelling for a couple of weeks on a Knitting Cruise with Hazel Tindall. Will there still be pre-orders around 1 June?


  17. So sorry to hear about the tooth – sounds very nasty, but glad it didn’t cancel out the research joy.
    Obviously, i am very much looking forward to the book, and the knitting.

    Liked by 1 person

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