Sunday, January 12, 2020

flying my hap flag

It's been quite a while since I made my first half-hap using Gudrun Johnston's pattern, "Simmer Dim." At the time I expected to make another someday, and guess what...
I've got the yarn
I've got the needles
today is Cast-On Day!

This project will be a special gift, and since I wanted to be sure to make something the recipients will enjoy, it is not a surprise - it's a collaboration. I provided lots of options for very different patterns and yarns, and there was a good bit of to-ing and fro-ing as the options were explored and considered. I would have been happy to make whatever was selected - and I tried very hard to answer questions without influencing the decisions - but I must say the choices made turned out to be just my cup of tea.

"Hansel" - another design by Gudrun Johnston - is a full sized version of a traditional Shetland Hap shawl. It will probably finish at about four feet square, perhaps a bit more when blocked. The pattern calls for five colors: a central garter-stitch diamond in a main color, then a wide border lacework section with gently wavy stripes in four additional colors plus the main color, followed by an edge in the original main color with options for simple or more elaborate finishing.

Like the traditional Shetland hap design, the chosen yarn is also traditional: Jamieson and Smith's "100% Shetland wool from the Shetland Islands." And - this is quite wonderful, I think - all five colors in this hap will be natural, undyed wool. The five shades were chosen from a range of nine, called things like Moorit and Katmollet and Gaulmogot, which are the names of the colors of the Shetland sheep.

This is going to be a joyful project, and I'll try to share a bit of the process - and woolly pictures - as I go along. I'm planning to get a good start on it before cashmere harvesting begins, because both knitting and combing cashmere require very similar use of my hands and I usually stop knitting entirely during combing season. This year I may just pace myself so some days can include a bit of combing and a bit of knitting.

Off to a good Gaulmogot start.