I have been wanting to make a Shetland hap for quite some time, and before I did so, I enjoyed talking to lots of Shetland knitters about their methods of hap design and construction. There’s a separate chapter in the book about this, where you can read about how haps have customarily been made in Shetland, and hear the thoughts of many different hap knitters whose ages range from 17 to 94. My Moder Dy (mother wave) hap follows their general method of making, but (because the borders are worked in the round) involves more purling than is perhaps usual in most Shetland haps.
The yarn is, of course, Buachaille. I used haar for the main colour and hedder, furze, between weathers, yaffle and ptarmigan for the border shades. Hap borders are great places to use up odds and ends of yarn, and haps in general are also very flexible as to size. Knitting Moder Dy in Buachaille on a 5.5 mm needle has created an (ahem) rather large hap – you might achieve a somewhat smaller result with a 4 ply yarn and reducing the needle size.
Because Moder Dy is big (70-72 inches square when stretched) I needed a big board to block it on, and was hap-pily able to borrow one from my friend Anne Eunson (she of the famous lace fence). Here are Anne and Tom, trying out both board and hap for size, and the elegant figure in the foreground in the beautiful Shetland lace cardigan is Lauren Anderson, who we met modelling Carol’s Montbretia hap yesterday.
One of the many wonderful features of the west side of Shetland are the beautiful wee churches dotted about, which are carefully looked after by their parishioners. The methodist chapel at Culswick is one of these – a perfect, tiny stone building in a wild and beautiful location and (when you enter it) a very moving space (even for the non-religious such as I). This is where we photographed my hap.
I am 5 ft 2″ tall. As you can see, Moder Dy on Anne’s board is quite a bit taller than me.
Creating and blocking this hap in customary Shetland fashion has taught me many things. It has also sparked an inevitable desire to make more haps, and inspired Tom to knock up his own hap board (of which more later). I am looking forward to throwing my hap over the back of my knitting chair, and warming myself with it on chilly evenings. I hope you enjoy making it too.
Pop over to Jen’s to read my interview about my hap, and be sure to come back here tomorrow when I have the exciting task of interviewing a designer I very much admire!
Until tomorrow . . .