Here is the second part of my post, bringing you ten beautiful projects from ten amazing knitters, using my designs and yarn.
I think that Georgie is the working definition of an amazing knitter – I love everything she makes and am always happy when she chooses one of my patterns to work on. I was particularly thrilled when I saw that she’d decided to knit Moder Dy from The Book of Haps shortly after the book was published: “After my son stole the last hap blanket I made and the realisation that I really like to wear big shawls, I decided to knit this pattern immediately (I had planned to wait and finish other WIPs first!). I wanted to use some of my beautiful variegated skeins of hand-dyed yarn because they looked so lovely together. The fabric came up a little thin when I swatched, so I added in a single strand of laceweight mohair and knit the two held doubled, which produced a lovely fabric!”
“The pattern was a pleasure to knit, I really enjoyed the borders-in method (which I’d never heard of before). I liked how it broke down the knitting of such a large piece into manageable chunks. The colour changes sped the knitting along during the striped section, it was great seeing that section grow. The only bit I was nervous about was the grafting the the end, but finding a quiet spot and mentally chanting the instructions as I did them meant it was no trouble at all, phew!”
“The finished hap is versatile and beautiful, I love it!” Thanks, Georgie!
While Georgie used the hap’s large canvas to showcase gorgeous hand-dyed skeins, Vanessa was able to use precious hap-weight yarn she’d saved from her grandmother’s yarn when making hers: “Years ago, my Grandmother gave me a portion of her enormous stash, which she had amassed over her long knitting lifetime. Amongst this vast trove was a large quantity of hap-weight yarn. I have to confess that I had no idea what that meant at the time, but I did know that it was special Shetland wool from an important person in my life – so I wanted to save it for something meaningful. When I saw Moder Dy in The Book of Haps, it seemed like a perfect match! And as if there couldn’t be a more blazingly obvious sign, the pattern itself refers to “Mother”.”
I wasn’t sure if I had enough for the entire blanket, and I also wanted to round out the two colorways that I had with a third, complimentary color that might tie the two together. Although it reads as charcoal grey and black from a distance, it is actually a light grey with electric blue neeps as the main colour, a darker grey with pale pink neeps as one contrasting color, and an extremely deep, dark blue heathered Jamieson’s yarn that I bought for the third colour.”
“Besides the thrill of matching my yarn to its soul-mate of a pattern, I was also very excited to think about the possibility that maybe one of my great-great grandmothers may have knit something just like this a long time ago, as I was knitting mine in New York City in 2016? What a knitter’s dream!”
As she drifted away from knitting and more into quilting later in her life, my grandma always dismissed our concerns about the proper care of her quilts with “Well, does it keep you warm?” And as long as we said “Yes,” she was satisfied. And this hap is keeping me perfectly, deliciously warm! Thank you, Grandma!”
I love how the bright heathery dots of colour enliven the monochrome palette of Vanessa’s beautiful hap, and am really enjoying seeing how very different Moder Dy looks when worked up in various palettes. I find the cheerful shades that Claire selected for her recently completed hap particularly appealing!
Claire says: “I wanted to try a smaller hap in a finer woollen yarn and Spindrift fit the bill perfectly – light and airy with a great range of colours. I couldn’t shake the image of a red stripe, and chose the main colour with a view to really letting the red sing out, adding more contrasting colours of lighter value.”
“I loved knitting to the rhythms of the pattern; the ebb and flow of the edge, the undulation of the border and finally the almost meditative garter stitch of the middle section. The repetitions within the pattern made it a very soothing, relaxing and rewarding knit.” Congratulations on your lovely hap, and your masterly shade choices, Claire!
This next project really blows me away – designer Nena Kokopelli created her Edema Ruh pattern to use up her stash of Buachaille from the Seven Skeins club last year. Helen’s version of Nena’s pattern is just gorgeous. Helen says: “I was looking out for a project to use all of the Buachaille seven skeins club yarn and Nene Kokopelli’s shawl fit the bill on every level. The combination of plain garter stripes and slightly fancy slip stitch patterns remind me of many traditional handwoven textiles or woven braids. Importantly , for a scarf or wrap, the reverse side is not just neat, but looks good.”
“Once I understood the sequence of colour combinations and stitches it was straightforward to keep going to make a bigger wrap. The colour sequencing showed me how use many colours in a controlled way. I took so many lessons from this project, not the least of which is how easy it is to knit with a good wool yarn!”
“After four months of regular wear the shawl is wearing beautifully – no pilling or drooping. And my favourite colour combination – Squall and between weathers – the blue really pops.”
I think what I like about Helen’s shawl so much is that the finished piece has a certain quietness about it, despite all the different shades and stitches that are deployed here. Perhaps its the use of tiny patterns over a large surface area, or the fact that the Buachaille shades work together tonally really well (if I do say so myself, ahem).
Finally, I just wanted to give a shout-out to Anne Baxter, who, like Helen, was one of the Seven Skeins club members last year. Anne recently visited my part of the world from Canada, and explored the highlands with my friend Gordon Anderson (the mountain leader featured in this book). Anne took a walk up Buachaille Etive Mor, and was able to photograph a pair of seven-skeins pawkies at the top of the iconic peak after which the yarn used to knit them was named!
Knitting and highland walking are two of my very favourite things, and its great to see Anne out enjoying them too. Hope you had a fantastic time, Anne!