Knits Gifts 2018: Woodland Hap Shawl
Depending whom you follow on Facebook or Instagram, you may have started seeing women standing in green fields, overlooking the ocean, wrapped in large knitted squares. I’ve been longing to have one of my own, and in the 2018 issue of Interweave Knits Gifts I’ve found mine: Rebecca Blair’s Woodland Hap Shawl.
Rebecca Blair’s hap is a generously sized square with a delicate multicolored border. Often inspired by historical needlework, Rebecca’s hap was made for cold winter days and nights. Wrap up in this shawl, wear it as a scarf, or use it as a comfortable, beautiful throw.
The women standing in the fields in the pictures are Shetlanders, who have been knitting and wearing haps for generations. Strictly speaking, “hap shawl” is redundant; “hap” is enough. A traditional hap uses the fine wool from Shetland’s native sheep in the following recipe:
1. Solid-colored garter-stitch center square
2. Striped lace border worked from the square out
3. Lace sawtooth edging applied sideways around the edge
Native Shetland spinner, knitting designer, natural dyer, and teacher Elizabeth Johnston says this about the hap: “A hap is a garment which anyone can use to wrap up warmly [in]—that’s the definition of the word.” In her article “The Shetland Hap: A Handspun Garment Wrapped In History” from Spin Off Fall 2018, Debbie Held says, “Indeed, according to Collins English Dictionary, the Scottish definition of hap in its verb form is ‘to cover’ or ‘to wrap warmly.’” (Read an excerpt from Debbie’s article.)
Cast on for your own hap to chase winter’s chill.
DESIGNER Rebecca Blair
FINISHED SIZE 62″ square.
YARN Willow & Lark Woodland (50% merino wool, 25% alpaca, 25% viscose; 191 yd [175 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #401 battleship (MC), 11 balls; #415 thistle bud (teal; CC1), #411 honeycomb (gold; CC2), and #423 spiced plum (CC3), 2 balls each. Yarn distrib- uted by LoveKnitting.
NEEDLES Size 6 (4 mm): 60″ circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
NOTIONS Markers (m); spare needle in same size or smaller; tapestry needle.
GAUGE 18 sts and 32 rows = 4″ in garter st.