Hansel and Happenings

Hi there,

So I know I haven’t really been around much, here or anywhere on the net really this last month. I’ve been away doing things that I typically don’t blog about. I’ve also felt the need to turn away from a bit from all the screens, news feeds and social media. I’m inclined to do this every summer, after exam rush has ended, but this year I especially felt the need to hide in my own cave of book and wool and let the world be the world. The Orlando shooting, Trump, the EU referendum. Now in the aftermath of that, I’m full of worries about what’s going to happen to the EU and especially in regards to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

My whole time line has been in a sad state since Friday. I had wanted the UK to stay in the EU, but at least when I woke up, I could do so with the reassurance that nobody took my rights away. I’m still a citizen of the EU, which sadly cannot be said for many people across the pond. It feels like someone opened Pandora’s box and handed out the keys to anyone willing to take them.

Nevertheless, I’ve steadily kept on knitting. I’ve seen quite some people in the online knitosphere call out to say that we should keep on crafting and sharing beautiful things, if only as a therapeutic act in all these troubles. So here it goes, my attempt to join in this.

My current project is entering the final stage. It’s a Shetland hap, more specifically the Full Hansel Hap designed by Gudrun Johnston. It’s a giant beast of a shawl, the Mother of Shawls, The One Shawl to Rule Them All. I’ve had it in my queue since it was published, but finally got to it when the anticipation about Kate Davies new book The book of Haps got too much. For a few weeks, haps were absolutely everywhere I looked on the net, it got to me, so I cast this one on in hopes of finishing it before Kate’s book would arrive.

I’m about to start the lace edge. About a month ago or so I would have told you the same; I was about to start the lace edge. The shell border proved to be a bit of an obstacle for me. I should have known, given I breezed surprisingly fast through the garter stitch middle. Karma strikes back! I think I must have knit some parts of the shell border about ten times or so by now. I had a lot of trouble with getting the colour combination right. I finally thought I had it, but had to rip it all again when one of my chosen colours clashed hideously with the other 3 colours when knitted up (I swear they looked good together on the skein!). But between picking new colours, waiting for yarn to arrive, knitting, and finally being happy with the colour combo, I made some knitting mistakes. What can I say, this is my knit-inbetween/while-doing-other-things, and watching penguin chicks hatch on the tv proved to be too much of a distraction. I off sided the lace on one of the four sides….which I naturally only found out when I finished the whole shell bit. So with a good glass of cider and a cat on my lap I set to work and ripped it all out (yet) again…trying not to shout at the knitting gods.

So, here I am, hoping to finally put all of that behind me (touch wood!). In the months to come I’ll be able to randomly recite this lace pattern (a skill which will no doubt delight my friends). This week also saw the arrival of The Book of Haps in the Treehouse, completing the hap themed month. Unfortunately I was not able to beat the hap deadline with my shawl, but let that not spoil its glorious publication! I spend the weekend reading Kate’s essay about the etymology and meaning of Hap, which as a language geek especially delighted me. My favourite designs from the book are Moder Dy, Lang Ayre, Houlland, Theme and Variation and Uncia. The last one being designed by Lucy Hague, so no surprises there. Hers and Kate’s were the ones I knew, without question, I was going to like as soon as the names were announced on Kate’s blog. For now, I’ll just enjoy reading the essays and knitting of my monster shawl. We’ll see what I feel like  making after this.

I hope everyone has a good time, I wish everyone lots of strength in keeping positive, and happy knitting,

4 thoughts on “Hansel and Happenings

  1. The world is in such a sad state right now, it's good to remember that there are beautiful things, and beautiful people, and that our amazing friends are always around to help us deal with the bad stuff. Your hap is looking gorgeous so far-I love the colors you're using for the border so much!

  2. I voted to Remain in the EU, and so did almost everyone I know – it really does feel as though the ones I know who voted for it voted that way because they felt they'd been ignored by mainstream politicians for years, not because they actually hated the EU. It's sad. I felt very scared for our future for a while, but the sun still rises and the cats still need feeding, so I guess life has to go on…

  3. @Kat
    Yes, that's true. That's what the knit-o-sphere is good for; not just as a distraction from the bad, but also as a gentle reminder there's good things happening.

    Also- thanks! I hope I'll make actual progress on it now, but no matter how frustrating the small mistakes, I'm very happy with the looks so far as well.


  4. @Mim

    I'm not a UK resident obviously, but everyone I talk to or follow online seems to be in the same boat. Most of them staunch remainers, and I can only imagine that the unease you who actually live in the UK feel must be even far more severe than mine, although I truly empathise.

    Cats are the greatest masters at keeping things in the right perspective, aren´t they?

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