Hello! and sorry for the lack of blogs over the past wee while. Things have been very busy at J&S but today I am back with a blog about Haps!
baby wrapped in a hap, courtesy of the Shetland Museum and Archives.
I feel like lately Haps have been everywhere with Gudruns Hap Knit-a-Long on ravelry and Louise of KnitBritish’s Hap-A-Long which begins this week, so I thought I’d share some of the Hap patterns available from J&S and of course the modern counterparts as well as some ideas of the yarns that can be used to make one!
Haps drying in a field, courtesy of Hap Shawls: Then and Now by Sharon Miller
A Hap is essentially a wrap which is used to keep you warm, of course they come in many shapes and sizes but traditional Shetland Haps are square with a centre panel, a patterned surround (usually feather and fan lace) and an edging. There are many different ways to construct a Hap of which Louise goes into a good amount of detail on her blog post, there is also some good information here.
a hap drying outside in the 1960’s. Courtesy of the Shetland Museum and Archives.
We are very lucky that we have a lot of the samples created for patterns over the years for us, I’m going to start with the fancier Haps, traditionally used as Christening Shawls and knit using 1 or 2ply Lace weight.
These 1ply Shawls, all designed by Gladys Amedro follow the construction method of knitting the edging, picking up stitches then knitting into the centre which is one of the styles of Hap construction. They can all be made using 1ply Yarns, we have the 1ply Cobweb and also the 1ply Shetland Supreme. The original 1ply Cobweb will yield a crisper shawl due to its woollen spun make up but the Shetland Supreme will give you a softer shawl with more of a Halo, both beautiful of course!
1ply Shetland Supreme
The Pam Shawl, seen above is another Gladys Amedro pattern but this time it is knit using 2ply Lace, we also have the My Weekly Baby Knits Shawl which is another 2ply Shawl. These are a bit less delicate and more for everyday use, although they would still be perfect for a christening
Although typically knit in Original 2ply Lace you could also knit any of these shawls using 2ply Supreme Lace or Shetland Heritage, both which would give you a different feel. The Supreme 2ply is a bit lighter weight than the original whereas the heritage is slightly heavier, since they are both worsted spun compared the the 2ply lace you would again get a different feel using them.
The Morag Shawl from Sharon Millers ‘Hap Shawls: Then and Now’ is a classic example of a traditional Hap which was worn by Shetland Women over the centuries. Large, warm and soft, this would keep everyone from a tiny baby to an old lady warm.
courtesy of the Shetland Museum and Archives.
Typically knit in Jumper Weight, the shaded sections were used to add interest and use up all the scraps of Yarns.
A subtly shaded Natural Hap in Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight would be classic and timeless but it also offers the chance to use some nice colour palettes of Jumper Weight..
203,1284,366,fc9 and fc56
2, fc39,fc34,141 and 29
54, fc39,fc38,fc12 and fc11
In relation to finding patterns for these kinds of Haps, in the Traditional Shawls and Scarfs pattern booklet – all written out and not charted – there is a pattern for this kind of Shawl
Also available in the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers book: A Legacy of Lace is the Traditional Shetland Hap by Zena Thomson
But online you will find a wealth of patterns inspired by this style of Haps.
Hansel Hap (Full Version)
Hansel (Half Version)
Gudrun Johnson’s lovely Hansel Pattern is available in a full and half hap version as well as in a Craftsy class! Knit using Jumper Weight the colour possibilities are endless.
Another Modern Hap inspired pattern is the Northmavine Hap by Kate Davies from her Colours of Shetland book, again knit in Jumper weight, this shawl has aspects of a traditional shawl in a modern shape.
I hope this has inspired you to get involved with Louise’s Hap-A-Long which begins on the 10th of April. Of course there are many more patterns which fit into this style so have a look and get involved! I thought I’d leave you with this great photo from a carnival in Lerwick with a Shetland themed float, that’s a big hap on the back!