Tuesday, 2 August 2016

And Then There Were Four: A Variation on the Theme and Variation Hap. . .

At first glance, I wasn't that excited about the Theme and Variation Hap designed by Veera Valimaki, even though I am a fan and have knitted several of her patterns previously.  It just seemed very basic and simple and I wanted a bit more of a challenge.

However, (and this is what is so great about The Book of Haps)  every pattern challenges your assumptions of what a hap can be. As knitters started posting pictures of their finished T &  V haps, I noticed people were having fun playing with colours and the stripe sequences. I needed an easy garter stitch project to take on a coach trip and so I cast on.

I decided that my lovely Daughter of A Shepherd hebridean wool would be the perfect main colour.  I love this chocolate brown woolly goodness so much, I wanted to let it really be the star of this shawl, so I reduced the number of contrast stripes. This also lets them really pop against the deep brown. The green and light grey are both Ysolda's Blend #1.  Since I bought all three yarns at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, it's been really nice to use them all in the same project.

The right side of the hap is lovely in its own right.  But this pattern has one clever trick up its sleeve, or I should say edging.  On the first row, you almost double the number of stitches and then through a series of slipped stitches and rows of ribbing, you end up with a substantial edge fabric and more stripes!  I opted for a third pop of colour - this sassy pink is Triskelion Branwen DK,a mixture of Falklands merino and silk. It was from stash; I'm not sure he is dyeing this base anymore.   I tweaked the pattern slightly using short rows so that none of the pink would be seen on the right side.

And this is what it looks like when you flip one side over your shoulder.

I have absolutely loved knitting this - the yarn, the stripes, the surprise twist edging.  Ingenious. And  this hap has gone from being ho-hum to the one I'll probably reach for the most come the autumn months.

When I've had some time to concentrate, I've also been working steadily on Houlland, designed by Donna Smith. This is a gorgeous lace hap and I'm using some fuzzy but beautiful Gotland lace from The Little Grey Sheep.

This is yet another hap with an intriguing and new-to-me construction.  Most shawls I've knitted have been from the top down. You start with a few stitches and every row grows. With Houlland, you knit the bottom edge first, then pick up stitches and knit from bottom up, so that every row becomes a little shorter.  I finished this morning, and it's had a soak and is currently blocking.  Finished photos soon.

Can you tell how much I'm loving The Book of Haps?

1 comment:

Julie Crawford said...

that striped shawl is so wonderful for your daughter, I hope she loves it! And I'm crazy about the yarn you are using for the new lace shawl, that Gotland lace looks so beautiful. Good choice.