a cowslip hap

Hello! Friday is project reveal day, and up today is a light and simple knit I’m really enjoying wearing at the moment – The Observatory.

I originally created this design for our West Highland Way book, building the pattern around one of my all-time favourite Shetland lace edgings. This edging has a wonderful, intuitive rhythm, beautiful undulating lines, and a final zig-zagging appearance that I find deeply satisfying.

In this version (which is worked in the quintessentially spring-like Cowslip shade of Milarrochy Tweed) the edging of the edging is made (if possible) even more satisfying, due to Mel experiencing one of her not-infrequent blocking brain waves when finishing the sample. You’ll be able to see from the photograph below that, in addition to fixed wires and pins, Mel has threaded her nifty, flexible blocking wires along the very outer edge, allowing those stitches to really open up. Genius!

The airy effect of this extra blocking step really lends a stunning finish to a hap that’s otherwise super-simple to knit.

Using a method that’s inspired by the borders-in construction of traditional Shetland haps, this design begins by knitting the lace edging to the length that you need it to be (in this case, just over a metre and a half).

After binding off the edging, you are left with a long, narrow lace strip. Stitches are then simply picked up from the centre of the strip and worked outwards, in garter stitch rows. There are no complicated turning techniques to remember: simply by working each row progressively, the hap is shaped into an elegant curve.

The shallow, crescent makes for a nice comfortable fit around the shoulders

Though in practice, I most often wear my haps like this

Just the thing to wrap around the neck on a nippy spring morning

There was a very cold mist over the loch at first light today, but we were able to take these photos just after it burned off.

We stopped stocking the yarn used for the original Observatory sample quite some time ago, so I’m really happy to have the kit back in stock, in our own Milarrochy Tweed (there’s a couple of alternate colour options too)

Plus, I now get to enjoy wearing my favourite hap in one of my favourite yarn shades!

And because I know you’ll ask about my necklace: it’s made by Scottish designer, Lynsey Walters who creates really beautiful jewellery from hand-made and industrial felt. I love Lynsey’s colourful work, and own a couple of her necklaces, which she’s currently selling with a very generous offer of free worldwide shipping.

Happy May Day, solidarity, hope in work and joy in leisure, everyone!