half hansel



This picture pleases me greatly, those hanks and that tiny little triangle is now this:


My first hap!! Haps are everywhere just now, Gudrun had a hap knitalong in her group on Ravelry and then Louise from Knitbritish organised the hapalong. I have been planning to try and knit one for ages but there is nothing like a knitalong to spur you along.

hap2If your wondering what I’m talking about, a hap is a traditional Shetland shawl which ladies used to wear almost like a jacket. They have a centre panel knit in garter stitch or sometimes patterned lace, a feather and fan border with a knitted on edging. For more information about Haps have a look at Louise’s post, Kates post or even the one I wrote for the J&S blog a few weeks ago. I decided to knit a Half Hansel designed by Gudrun Johnston. The construction of this shawl is a centre triangle worked up from one single stitch which is then picked up down the sides with the border knitted on, in the pattern you can also knit on an edging which I decided not to do. I wanted a more casual hap that I could wear as a scarf.



I am really pleased with how it came out. I used Jamieson & Smith 2ply Jumper Weight. (of course) The main shade is 54 which I knit off one of my many cones, all my contrast shades were from old hanks so the modern versions of the shades are a bit different but the two greys and 27 and 203 and the oranges are FC38 and FC8 (now discontinued) It was very addictive taking photos of the shawl today, I really like the way my shading came out.. if I so say so myself.. being humble is an overrated trait you know.



I don’t do a lot of lace knitting so feather and fan is about the height of my skill level, It is so effective and yet pretty easy, so I’m quite proud of my first hap even if it is just a half hap! I would love to knit a full hap but by the time I reached my stitch count for the centre triangle I was ready to start the border!



When I made my first yoke jumper I said it was like a rite of passage for a Shetland knitter and I think a hap is a similar thing, you really feel a connection to your culture when you make something that people from your home have been making for centuries.. cant you just see me walking over the hills with my kishie on my back??? Maybe not.



Thanks for all your comments on my baa-ble hat! much appreciated as always. I’ve had a few people asking about the jumper I was wearing in my photos so I’ll be back later this week with a post about that, til then..

Happy knitting! ella xxx

33 thoughts on “half hansel

  1. Ha! Just decided on a half hansel myself this evening! Although still tempted by Kate Davies Northmavine!
    Coming from Nairn so conscious of haps as they were part of fisher & country culture across the country!
    Now i must choose my yarn & colours! Decisions decisions…….

  2. Love the colours, Ella. Know what you mean about connecting to your culture – I’ve just finished my first yoke, and felt the same way.

  3. YOUR/MY oranges :) That was perfect! I am not in any hap-along but am doing the Hap for Harriet, 2 different ways,. One with combed Ryeland and the other with the dregs that came off the combs that were hand carded. I really Should do one like yours…isn’t coping a sign of flattery….or something like that!!

  4. so beautifully shaded, I love your Half Hansel Ella, now I will have to get cracking with mine

  5. Your half hap is just lovely! Today I finished my half hap triangle, put the live stitches on extra yarn and picked up the 144 stitches on the sides and am now ready to take off again. My colors are in the green family with a little lilac/purple thrown in. I joined Louise’s Hap-A-Long and really got caught up in the little loops on each side!!

  6. The orange and grey are a terrific combination. When you say hap, I think of this BBC show I used to watch, Larkrise to Candleford, where they’d wear shawls big enough to crossover in front and tie in the back.

  7. Hi Ella..love , love your half hap..your colour choices are beautiful…looks good on you..pat j

  8. Hi Ella, your hap is just gorgeous,and those colours together are just beautiful xx (I’m still wearing my fingerless gloves you knitted, and getting lots of nice compliments on them xx)

  9. Great colours Ella! And you did a wonderful job capturing its beauty in your pictures. I got caught up in the hapalong frenzy too, and am also working on a Half Hansel.

  10. Love this hap, and it’s made me even more keen to start one myself. I might go for Kate Davies’ A Hap for Harriet, which is knit using only one colour, for my debut. Love the photos, too!

  11. Ella It is beautiful well done for the knitter that does not like knitting plain dus dun weel xxx carry on xxx

  12. I just finished the Half Hap Hansel (132 sts. On each side + 1 in center. Did you just pick up the stitches on the holder yarn and bind it off or did you do some other amazing knitting feat? Yours is truly gorgeous and I prefer a scarf-size too.

    1. Thank you! I picked them up and knit maybe 2 rows? I can’t remember, then I just did a stretchy bind off :) no amazing knitting feat here.. Haha

      1. Thanks so much, Ella!! I really like the Icelandic Bind off and will probably use this one. Your Hap just looks so perfect!

  13. Being one of the knitbritish hapalong knitters, with a Morag shawl in spicy reds in my records, I had this hint of envy while admiring your creation. The shawl I would have knitted but did not. Please, read this as a compliment from the bottom of my heart. Eva

  14. I love your colours. I am doing a Hansel and wondering about leaving the edging. Do you do a particular sort of stretchy cast off?

    1. I did a sewn bind off, I have a craftsy class called 40 ways to cast on and off I think.. It’s on that. It takes a while but it is really worth it to get the stretchy edge, my normal cast off is so loose!

  15. Thank you! I am never sure which cast off to use. I tried one stretchy one on a jumper, and it went a bit ‘frilly’, then last time used bigger needles but that was a little non-stretchy. I will look up the sewn one.

  16. Hello, I’m new to your blog. I love your knitting: very inspirational. The yarn colors you chose for your hap are really great. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Your colors are beautiful. I am excited to give my Full Hansel at a baby shower this weekend. It is such a satisfying knit on many levels. Historical, classic, practical not to mention immensely beautiful.

  18. Pingback: 2015 | ella gordon

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