How to... Use a Hap Blocking Frame

Blocking your knitting is one of the most satisfying and transformative processes. What starts out looking like a hair net, can be utterly changed by a good soak and stretch. While blocking has a place in the finishing of most knitwear, it is particularly vital when knitting lace patterns. Stretching out the wet lace and leaving it to dry reveals the beauty of the patterning in a way that's almost unimaginable when you are knitting the tangled-looking mess.

The following tutorial is going to show you how to use a hap blocking frame (aka hap stretcher) to block square, rectangular and right-angled triangle haps and shawls. Hap is the Shetland word for a shawl designed for everyday wear. 

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How to: Hexa Hap tutorials

One of the joys of knitting is that once you have mastered a technique, or found your perfect pattern, you can keep on going happily as long as you please. Equally, you could find a pattern you long to knit and discover that you need to learn something new in order to make any progress. It's the latter of these that keeps us interested in what we do as neither of us, me in particular, can say we know about, and can do absolutely everything possible with needles and yarn.

Image © Kate Davies Designs Ltd

Tom van Deijnen's Hexa Hap from The Book of Haps cleverly relies upon repeating the same sequence throughout to produce a fully reversible fabric. It also employs a couple of techniques that may be less familiar, so we have produced these short videos to help you to get to grips with them.

First is the intarsia twist, which gives a smooth, reversible transition between the two shades of yarn:

Hexa Hap is modular in that you work a triangular wedge at a time and then pick up stitches for the next wedge. Here's how to pick up the stitches:

I do hope that you will find these tutorials helpful. You can see more over on our YouTube channel: Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on YouTube

How to: Nut-Hap tutorials

I absolutely love to learn new techniques. I'm a sucker for a nifty way to make things, and I love to finesse my knitting. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to look at a new pattern and realise that it includes a heap of things you've not done before, so we aim to hold your hand with some of these techniques.

Image © Kate Davies Designs Ltd

My Nut-Hap design for The Book of Haps features a few tricks to give a really polished finished scarf. First up is the tubular cast on - my all-time favourite way to give your knitting a professional finish. Here's our YouTube video to talk you through how to work the cast on:

Nut-Hap then uses tucks to create an architectural shape to the lower edge. These are worked in with the ribbing of the body, and we've made videos to show you how to do the separating row:

And another video to show you how to work the joining row:

I do hope that you will find these tutorials helpful. You can see more over on our YouTube channel: Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on YouTube

FO Prizes

It seems that all I do these days is blog about the #hapsarehappeningKAL, but those days are numbered. The deadline to get photos of your finished haps to the FO thread is next Monday (8th August). We will then draw winners at random from the list of projects.

There are already examples of all 13 patterns in the FO thread and it has been a real privilege to follow the stages of their development and to see how the same pattern can look so different in different colours or yarns.

So what can you win? These are the prizes to date and there may be others to add.

First on the list is 3 skeins of Coop Knits Socks Yeah! yarn generously donated by Rachel Coopey. This is more than enough to make your own Uncia, or socks if you'd rather. Socks Yeah! comes in 50g skeins in 10 marled colours and is 75% super wash merino, 25% nylon.

Coop_knits_socks_yeah_yarn

Next up is 2 skeins of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Pebble Beach donated by Fyberspates. The variegated brown-grey palette has attracted considerable discussion within the group, being described as 'magic yarn' by some as the number of shades is greater than those you can see in the photograph.

Pebble beach 2

Lucy Hague has generously donated a copy of her stunning Celtic Cable Shawls ebook as a prize. I know from reading through the forums that many knitters have come across Lucy for the first time, and I think that this collection will give huge enjoyment and satisfaction to the winner.

Celtic Cable Shawls cover

ADDED
You could also win your choice of product from the AndSewToKnit Etsy store. I have the honour of owning a wonderful AndSewToKnit apron for working at shows, and it's beautiful and still looks great 5 years on. Choose from yarn bowls, knot bags and more. Many, many thanks to Yvette for this lovely prize!

Knot bag

The final general prize is a set of pattern downloads from the designers that contributed to The Book of Haps. That's a whole lot of knitting! 

If you've finished a Nut-Hap and posted a photo in the Nut-Hap FO thread, you'll be in with a chance to win this rather splendid tea towel, donated by Frome-based illustrator designer-maker Mary Kilvert.

Swallows

If you're ever in our neck of the woods, Mary's shop, right at the top of Catherine Hill, is well worth a visit to see all of the wonderful objects bearing her designs. Oh, and you can order online, so if you fancy your own handmade sheep, sheep mug, or notebook......

Sheep1-2

Sheep-mug Dogs-notebooks

Finally, if you've double dipped into our KAL and the Knit British bookofhapsalong, you could win a copy of Lucy Hague's Illuminated Knits ebook and a skein of Yarns From The Plain hand-dyed yarn. These won't be drawn until the Knit British KAL finishes.

  Illuminated Knits cover Image2


We are enormously grateful to everyone who has donated prizes here and throughout the KAL. It has added an extra dimension to what has been a truly inspiring couple of months.

If you're still deep in WIP territory, you have a few days to power through, so drop everything else and get knitting!

If you'd like to purchase some of Mary Kilvert's beautiful products, have a look at the options below:

And you can also purchase a copy of The Book of Haps from our online store:

Hapsarehappening Still

In the month since the publication of The Book of Haps, the hapsarehappeningKAL has racked up nearly 200 projects on the needles, or finished. I wonder how many there will be by the time the KAL finishes on the 8th August. Whatever the final number of projects, there will have been a bewilderingly large number of stitches worked, and hopefully a huge amount of joy in the making process, joy in completing projects, and in many cases joy in receiving a hap as a gift.

As usual, I've picked a few project photos that have caught my eye. First up is this Lang Ayre in progress, made by Kharis (peeriewyes). I'm a great fan of the delicate pastel palette she's put together.

Lang
 

The original colours of Happenstance were chosen to match Romi Hill's surroundings in Nevada. This photograh shows another Happenstance, made by Dawn (nibbleknitter), again with colours that reflect her surroundings.

  Happenstance

My favourite photo of Houlland in the book is undoubtedly the one with the hap and its shadow as it reinforces the lacy nature of the hap. Similarly, I really like this Houlland by Pauline (Ranadi). The yarn gives the lace motif firm definition.

  Houland

I may have mentioned previously how much I admire Uncia, so here's another fine example, made by Tina (TinerW).

  Uncia

The last two rounds of prizes have been generously donated by Carol Feller and Romi Hill (last week) and by Hélène Magnússon and Lucy Hague (this week). The lucky winners are SaraMWkathrynsmyth,  fluffspangle, wolke100,  DimityknitssoupdragonGynnifer and Annarga.

Keep tagging your projects with hapsarehappeningKAL to be in with a chance of winning prizes as next week is the last for WIP prizes. You can see all projects at a glance here, and see all the Instagram photos posted of projects here. Come back next week to see more beautiful creations. 

Keep up to date with all we're doing:
Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Facebook | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on YouTube | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Ravelry | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Twitter | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Instagram | And sign up in the sidebar to get our blog posts delivered to you by email.

All photos © of the respective knitters.

 

Dial H for Haps

I have been slow in putting together this week's progress post, but I have been giving it some thought. One thing that's struck me throughout the whole Book of Haps project has been the number of designs that began with the letter h, roughly half. Except for the obvious, I've no idea whether naming haps with an h was deliberate on the part of the designers or not.

With this in mind, I'd like to share two finished h haps, Happenstance and Houlland.

Happenstance

  Houlland

Top: Happenstance made by Kim (kimknitessex); Bottom: Houlland made by Julie (Crochet-Julie)

It should be pointed out that Julie's Houlland is one of 3 haps she's finished already!

Last week, I featured a partial Hapisk, one of the larger projects in the book. This week, we were treated to the sight of a completed Moder Dy, a square some 5 feet across before blocking. I am hugely impressed with the speed at which Elithea has produced this, and really look forward to seeing it laid out to its full size in the near future.

  Moder

Of the other massive projects, a few more Hexahaps have been shared in the last week, and this half Hexahap by Caroline (lindyhopper) is all but finished. If you click through on the link to her project page, you get a really good feel for the modular nature of the design.

  Hexa

Random weekly prizes for this week have been kindly provided by Martina Behm and Gudrun Johnston and go to DimityknitsdaynasueMonkSqueeDunk and 0bev0.

Keep tagging your projects with hapsarehappeningKAL to be in with a chance of winning prizes. You can see all projects at a glance here, and see all the Instagram photos posted of projects here. Come back next week to see more beautiful creations. 

Keep up to date with all we're doing:
Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Facebook | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on YouTube | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Ravelry | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Twitter | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Instagram | And sign up in the sidebar to get our blog posts delivered to you by email.

All photos © of the respective knitters.

HapsarehappeningKAL Weekly Progress

All over Knitlandia, knitters are making haps in all sorts of shapes in all sorts of yarn. This week, I've picked up some pictures of the haps that weren't featured last week.

Working backwards, first up is a finished object: Lucy Hague's Uncia, made by Danielle (KnittingNixon)

Uncia_9_medium2

I am constantly impressed with the way that Lucy managed to reproduce the architectural lines of great cathedrals of Europe and this and all of the other Uncias out there are permanent monuments to Lucy's skill as a designer.

While some of the haps are relatively quick to knit, there are a few enormous designs that take some doing. Moder Dy by Kate Davies and Hapisk by Hélène Magnússon are two of these.

Moder

Georgie (GeorgieVinsun) has got further than this photo suggests, but you can see the wave motif that gives the pattern its name very clearly.

Hapisk

Pip (RamsayBaggins) is charging through Hapisk. I find the colour combination almost mesmerising, and although it wasn't the inspiration, I am strongly reminded of photos of Saturn when I look at the stripes.  

Of the smaller haps, Montbretia by Carole Feller and Theme and Variation by Veera Välimäki have proven to be popular.

Montbretia

Beverley (0bev0) has chosen colours inspired by wildflower meadows to make her Montbretia and they work fantastically well together.

T&V

Trish (Trish88) has gone for an attractive blue and grey palette for her Theme and Variation.

One of the ongoing discussions within the KAL has around choosing a favourite bird, and then matching yarn to plumage to customise the Nut-Hap. There will be birds from all over the world represented.

Nuthap

This example, that was recently completed by fluffspangle, takes its colours from the greenfinch. You can see how tucks are incorporated into the design, and to find out how to do this, Jen made a tutorial on adding tucks to your knitting last week. 

The randomly selected winners of prizes, provided by Donna Smith and Jen, are: Nell9carolynintheuk,  nibble knitter, and elithea

It's still not too late to get involved as the KAL will run into August: simply tag your Ravelry project with the tag hapsarehappeningKAL to join in. You can see all projects at a glance here, and see all the Instagram photos posted of projects here. Come back next week to see more beautiful creations. 

Keep up to date with all we're doing:
Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Facebook | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on YouTube | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Ravelry | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Twitter | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Instagram | And sign up in the sidebar to get our blog posts delivered to you by email.

All photos © of the respective knitters.

How to: Add tucks to your knitting

To complement the pleats tutorial from last week, here is a how to video on working tucks in your knitting. If you've ever wondered what the difference is between pleats and tucks, this will explain all (or is it just me that thinks about these things?). I adore the generous texture that tucks can add to knitted fabric. My Nut-Hap for The Book of Haps features a tucked edging, which is worked in a slightly different way - more on that another time.

I am busy planning our next lot of filming for next week, so do let me know in the comments if there are any techniques you'd like to see us feature.

This video covers the following areas:

What is a tuck? What's the difference between a pleat and a tuck?

How to pick up stitches for a tuck.

How to work a tuck joining row.

Ysolda Teague's Ripley Hat pattern uses tucks.

My Nut-Hap uses tucks worked in a slightly different way.

The cowl I'm wearing in this tutorial is my Knotted Kernel design.

Photos © Kate Davies Designs Ltd

Video © Arnall-Culliford Knitwear Ltd

HapsarehappeningKAL Progress

This knit-a-long (hap-a-long?) has been running in our Ravelry group for a whole week. I am already struggling to keep up, simply because there are so many people taking part and talking about how they're getting on. This is of course a good thing since it means that there are huge numbers of photos from all over to look at, lots of help and advice being doled out, and most of all knitters from all over the world sharing their love of knitting.

What's really heartening to see, is that every pattern within The Book of Haps is being worked on. I think it's a testament to the designers that they've all interpreted the brief differently and have come up with something that really appeals.

With so many projects on the go, it's been hard to feature them all, so here is a small selection of those still on the needles:

  Haemgaet Jen

Harewood Brenda

Hexa Debby

Houlland Sara

From top to bottom: Jen's (Gynnifer on Ravelry) Haemgaet, Brenda's (brendadada) Harewood, Debby's (sailingby) Hexahap, Sara's (SaraMW) Houlland.

 And a few finished haps.

  Lang Ayre Alix

Shore Hap Maylin

Happenstance Annegret

 Top to bottom: Alix's (AlixPearson) Lang Ayre, Maylin's (blithespirit) Shore Hap, Annegret's (herbscat) Happenstance.

Each week we're giving away prizes, randomly selected from those of you who have shared your projects with us. This week Tom van Deijnen, designer of the Hexahap and Bristol Ivy, designer of Harewood have generously donated patterns for us to give away. Merrybg wins a Bristol Ivy pattern of her choice, Paisley wins a Tom van Deijnen pattern of her choice, and FolkieFi was very lucky to come up twice, so wins one of each.

It's not too late to get involved as the KAL will run into August: simply tag your Ravelry project with the tag hapsarehappeningKAL to join in. You can see all projects at a glance here, and see all the Instagram photos posted of projects here. Come back next week to see more beautiful creations. 

Keep up to date with all we're doing:
Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Facebook | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on YouTube | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Ravelry | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Twitter | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Instagram | And sign up in the sidebar to get our blog posts delivered to you by email.

All photos © of the respective knitters.

How to: Add pleats to your knitting

We're back with our first tutorial video! This is about how to add pleats to your knitting. It was shot at the same time as my introduction to Theme and Variation that I posted a couple of weeks ago, so doesn't reflect any of the kind feedback we received. We will work those tweaks in when we do our next lot of filming in July! I do hope you'll enjoy the tutorial, and find it helpful.

The video covers the following areas:

What is a pleat?

Underlay, turnback and overlay.

Setting up your fabric to add structure to your pleat.

How to prepare the stitches for joining in the pleat.

Joining 3 sets of stitches.

Pleats are featured in Turmeric by Veera Välimäki and Manu by Kate Davies.

And finally, I am wearing my Knotted Kernel cowl, which is my own design (but includes no pleats!).

We'll be back tomorrow with a round-up from our Hapsarehappening Knitalong over on Ravelry, and we'll be awarding the first work in progress prizes, so get your project photos up in the group. There are some truly stunning projects in the making!