Saturday, December 31, 2022


On Christmas night, I took a project off the needles. I can only knit in short sessions these days - no handknitting marathons in the foreseeable future - so this second Hansel Hap has been in the works all Autumn.

Before washing and blocking, I couldn't resist taking one picture of the hap in all it's rumpled disarray:

In case it looks slightly familiar, this is the second version of the hap I made for my Occasional Helper and his wife when they were expecting their first baby. You can probably guess why I made this one!

The wool was all ordered from Jamieson and Smith in Shetland again, and this time I bought the main color on a single cone instead of in multiple hanks or skeins. It's slightly more economical that way, plus saves a lot of splicing. Yarn on a cone still holds some of the oil used in processing, and I wondered if it would affect my tension, especially in a project combining oiled and washed yarns. I considered winding off the amount needed for the hap, making a hank, and washing it before knitting with it, but was told it shouldn't be necessary. And I actually forgot all about the oil until just before washing the hap, but then I remembered and it's a good thing, because it might have been a bit of a shock when, after an hour-long soak, the wash water looked like this:

Downright murky!
It took three rinses before the water was clear:

Then the hap was gently rolled up in a big towel and Moxie and I pressed as much water out of the yarn as possible before beginning the blocking process. Blocking a blanket is a lot of gentle stretching and flattening and pinning. 

First this side...

then that side...

then around a corner...

and around and around and around.

Until what initially seems like an acre of unmanageable stretchy wet wool

becomes an orderly four-foot square.

It's quite satisfying when done, but the blocker may need a little lie-down.