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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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.

June Pattern Round-Up

Much of June was taken up with promotion work, but there have still been a few patterns that have crossed our desks and been published. 

Summer is most definitely shawl season, and Bristol Ivy's eye-catching Rillmark stands out from the crowd.

Rillmark

It takes its name from the marks left in the sand by the retreating water once a wave has broken on a beach. It has a clever construction in the way that increases are worked not only in the body of the shawl, but also in the edging without any obvious break in the pattern.

Conifer, a baby cardigan, is the latest release from Ella Austin's Colour and Line Collection

Conifer

Any child wearing this beautiful cardigan will undoubtedly get jealous glances from all quarters.

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.

Photos © Bristol Ivy and Emma Solley (Ella Austin) respectively

New Pattern: Redlynch Shawl

I'm delighted to launch the first of my autumn knitting patterns - the Redlynch Shawl.

Inspired by the need for something to layer with long-sleeved T-shirts, or blouses, but not too heavy, Redlynch is named after a very pretty Somerset village. It's technically a cape or capelet, but I find that a rather off-putting description for a garment that I wear heaps and heaps. I tend to think of it more as a large shawl that doesn't need wrapping around your neck. You just slip it on and it stays put!

Redlynch is knitted in SMC Select Highland Alpaca Fino, which is a blend of 50% alpaca and 50% wool single ply yarn. I would describe it as a light 4ply weight yarn (it has 250m per 50g), but Ravelry has it down as a sport weight. It blooms nicely, so is a versatile yarn. You could certainly substitute anything between a 3ply and sport weight yarn, depending on how light you would like your Redlynch Shawl to be.

The shawl is knitted in a wide rectangle, before dividing into two halves to create the neck opening. Each half is worked on separately, and then joined together either by grafting (which gives the neatest finish) or by casting off and sewing the two ends. The neck and body edgings are then picked up and an i-cord is knitted on. The lace has patterning on both RS and WS rows, and the finished repeat reminds me of pairs of wings.

Redlynch2
© Jesse Wild

We took these photos back in April on a fun shoot with Jesse, and some help from my great friend Maz. She never stopped making me giggle, so thank you for ensuring that I had genuine smiles all day long Maz! Many thanks also to Kim Hobley and Rachel Atkinson for sample knitting for me. You are stars!

Here is all the technical information you might need:

This design was first published in The Knitter, Issue 45 under the name Vita, but the rights have now reverted to me, and I'm now releasing it for the first time as a single pattern download.