I’m still in a happy post-hap cooldown. Knitting Gudrun Johnston’s Hansel, a “hap” –a traditional everyday wrap in Scotland’s Shetland Islands– has sent me down the rabbit hole of hap-dom.
An excellent starting point on the slippery slope is Kate Davies and Jen Arnall-Culliford’s 2016 collection of traditional and new haps, The Book of Haps. Of all the fine haps in that book, the one that calls to me the most is Kate Davies’s Moder Dy. (Look at all the great versions.) (I’ll admit that the blocking frame photographs may be a strong influence on me; I really want one of those things. Talk about a single-use appliance!)
Moder Dy is knit from the borders in; Hansel was knit from the center out. Hmm.
Hansel also recalled one of my favorite designs from Grace Anna Farrow: Dusk. With a similar construction to Hansel, Dusk has a lot more of the wavy border, and skips the traditional pointed edging. Hmm again.
I could see myself getting in a real groove on haps. They are so versatile: baby blanket, wedding gift, winter wrap, bedspread. One immediate ambition is to make another Hansel, but a bit larger. My Hansel, folded in half into a triangle, is not quite big enough for me; it barely wrapped all the way around, snugly, on my petite model. The easy solution for a blankety version would be to knit it in a heavier yarn; to switch up from Brooklyn Tweed Loft to Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, or another rustic worsted weight yarn. I adore the colors of the Brooklyn Tweed range, and the beautiful way they play together, so that is a big consideration. I also think an Icelandic wool like Einband, with the many gradations of shades available, could make a stunning hap.
I’m taking suggestions, for hap patterns and hap yarns.
P.S. Thanks to Kristin Stone for modeling my finished Hansel, and to New York City for cooperating with a moment of January sunshine.