Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Today’s teaser-hap is another “Oh, wow!” Maybe we’re going to have to knit our ways through this book after all. It’s by Kate's co-editor, Jen Arnall-Culliford. It looks as if it might involve a daunting amount of k1,p1 rib for the sake of making it reversible, but that should be trivial for one such as I who has (almost) knit the Sous Sous of solid double moss stitch.

Kate Davies’ blog and wonderful photographs warmed me towards the Veera Valimaki hap yesterday. It’s done with madtosh yarns, which of course I love. What fun it would be to choose two for that particular combination!

One of the particularly delightful things about all this, is looking forward to the half of the book we’re not hearing about just now, Kate’s research into Shetland hap shawls. She is a trained academic, a university lecturer until her stroke early in 2010. If by any chance you don’t know about it, read this and then read this.

And now, look at her: designer, stylist, businesswoman, and I can’t think of a noun to cover the creation of Buachaille – not a matter of some pretty colours and her name tag on somebody else’s base, but a whole new yarn which she has engineered from sheep to mill to dye pot. Famous, and loved, in a wholly different world. There are clichés to hand, about ill winds, and doors opening as others close, but they all seem inadequate to this extraordinary situation. I was surprised, looking out the links above, to be reminded how very recently it all started.

I gave a little more thought to the idea of plucking out from my shelves the books I have actually knit from. Not so easy. I must have all of EZ, to begin with, whether I have actually knit anything from a particular book or not. And much of Kaffe, similarly.

It might be more useful to think of assembling the little collection which must go with me to the nursing home when my time comes. For reading matter, I can rely on the iPad – I think I can trust our children and our finances to ensure a nursing home with wi-fi. But for knitting books, one needs paper. And there may not be much shelf space there. Mary Thomas, EZ, Kaffe, Barbara Walker, Sharon Miller, KD, Eichenseer-Grill-Kron for Bavarian twisted stitch… they may have to find room for another bookcase, after all.

There’s a strong bias towards reference books in that little list.  Even in one’s terminal nursing home, one can download individual patterns from hither and yon as required. It may be a useful brake to apply to book-buying henceforth: will I want this one with me in the nursing home? Haps, certainly.

Meanwhile, the Neap Tide shawl progresses very nicely. A couple more days should see it done. I couldn’t stand the suspense any longer, and counted stitches. I seemed to have two too few. That was easily adjusted by omitting two decreases. I found it alarmingly difficult to work out what to do, however. Too few? Too many? Skip a decrease? Put in an extra one? 


  1. I haven't yet pre-ordered the Hap book as none of them seemed like something I must knit. Until today. Tucks! I have to go pre-order right now. Thank you for bringing this project to my attention.

    Ravelry does make the idea of a nursing home less daunting, doesn't it. Even if one can't knit, there will be patterns to browse, even if there's no room for books.

  2. Anonymous2:20 PM

    I remember those posts of Kate's and how affected I was by them and how inspired I have been by her ever since. I've copied them to give to people who might be helped by Kate's beautifully-articulated experience. Chloe

  3. I love the latest hap. The tucks and the ribs together -- another project on the list. I found this - happenchance- in my word-a-day email and thought of you. "Alteration of happenstance, a blend of happening + circumstance. Earliest documented use: 1847. "

  4. wooliedi2:56 PM

    I'm beginning to think this is a book to knit my way through! Not a boring project yet.
    In response to your planning for that single shelf of books, keep in mind that most, if not all, of the newer knitting books also have an electronic version. Makes culling the herd so much less painful.

  5. For those of us who have made less than favorable comparisons of Kate Davies and Susan Crawford (ahem), it appears that the Vintage Shetland book may be literally on its way. I got an email today that "Susan Crawford" sent me a package and I certainly haven't ordered anything else from her in the last year or so. Here's hoping. All of you on the UK side of the pond will have to let us U.S. of A'ers know what you think as you should have yours sooner than we will. I am in the San Francisco bay area, so assume I will be waiting a while for the Royal Mail. I do love getting mail with a Royal Mail post mark on it. Sue