Martina Behm will be well known to all of you as the creator of many beautiful shawls that have been made and enjoyed by thousands of knitters all over the world. Often working with garter stitch and using innovative techniques to create interesting shapes that wrap in multiple ways about the body, Martina’s designs seem, in many ways, to epitomise the popularity of hap-like textiles among today’s knitters. I love Martina’s sleek lines, bold shapes, and sense of colour, and was over the moon when she agreed to contribute to the collection.
Inspired by the maritime culture and landscape of her home in Schleswig-Holstein, Martina’s Shore Hap mingles historic inspiration and contemporary aesthetics to create a truly stunning design. When creating her hap, Martina drew on the unusual shape of shawls she had seen in the Flensburg Museum . . .
. . . sailors collars / matrosenkragen . . .
Alexej von Assaulenko, Porträt eines jungen Mädchens (©Museum of Schleswig-Holstein / Alexej von Assaulenko-Kulturstiftung)
. . . and the colours and textures of her Schleswig-Holstein landscape. All these influences are brought together into a striking hap that can be worn in many different ways.
Here is Martina to tell you more about her design.
“Dark skies and blue waters, pebbly beaches, brown seaweed, blackened wood and stormy grey clouds – those are the colours of the very north of Germany: Schleswig-Holstein, my home. What shall I say? I grew up here, and despite having lived in warmer and friendlier parts of this planet, I would not want to be anywhere else. The climate is a good excuse to wear wool (almost) year-round, especially around the neck and shoulders – areas that are most affected by winds and weather when taking a walk outside.”
“My interpretation of the hap is inspired by the colours of Schleswig-Holstein, that also seem to be the colours most loved and worn by its inhabitants – probably because they are stain-proof and flattering at the same time. Traditional festive dresses of the islands of the North Sea are dark brown with blue trims and sailors, a frequent sight in the cities with big harbours, used to wear blue and white striped uniforms.”
“The shape of my hap is that of a modified sailor’s collar with a triangular instead of a square back. This struck me as especially useful, as it can be wrapped and tied in various ways around your shoulders and is likely to stay put and keep you warm, even if you are working around the house and garden, carrying firewood or sweeping your yard.”
“The long ends of the hap could be tucked into the front of an apron or skirt – which is probably why I found a shawl shaped like this one in the Flensburg Museum.”
“But I am sure you will find your own flattering way to wear this interesting shape.”
“Worked in a modern smooth and lightweight superwash merino yarn, it will wash well and keep you good company for many years to come, while its hand-dyed beauty adds to the enjoyment of both knitting and wearing.”
“Made entirely in garter stitch, the knitting process is easy and relaxing and will easily fit into your life, no matter how busy.”
Thankyou, Martina, for your wonderful hap.
So all of the designs in the Book of Haps have been revealed! Jen and I have really enjoyed bringing the haps to you each day, and very much hope that you will enjoy both reading and knitting from your books when they arrive! We are busy here preparing envelopes, and hope to bring you news from the printers in the next couple of days, where the books will shortly be coming off the presses. Pre-orders remain open, and are available here Hap-py knitting, everybody!