A raven clan traditional Shetland hap

Hansel Shetland Hap

Hansel Shetland Hap

Hansel Shetland Hap

One of my all-time favourite patterns, Gudrun Johnston’s Hansel—a traditional Shetland hap. They’re so pleasing to knit. The centre square comes first, knit in garter stitch. Then a feather and fan border, worked by picking up stitches along all four sides, and finally a lace edging.

I’ve knit them in solid colours, like this one, and in contrasting colours for the border section (two in Jamieson & Smith Shetland wool are pictured below). Fingering weight for baby blankets, and heavier weight dk for a larger throw. I made this one with Socks that Rock Heavyweight by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The yarn is hand-painted 100 per cent Merino—a deep, dark shaded black from the Raven Clan series.




I picked up Knitalong tonight on my way home. Knitting with others for a common purpose – something I don’t do much of anymore. It made me miss my dearest knitting partner! We started knitting together over a decade ago and are now separated by many provinces and states. I guess that’s where an online knitalong would come in . . .

I really like the concept of knitting together for a common cause. The American Red Cross Museum has a great archive of military knitting patterns from World Wars I and II. The pdfs are scans of the original typed patterns. The paper has yellowed and the authors offer tips like, “Sometimes odd bits of yarn can be knit up quite attractively.” It’s One Skein for the Knit Your Bit set! I’ve been trying to come up with a way to use these patterns for a humanitarian cause like afghans for Afghans. I haven’t come up with a good concept yet though, other than helping people to keep warm while simultaneously putting a dent in your stash!

The authors of Knitalong talk about all types – from stitch ‘n’ bitch (could the plural really be bitches?) at cafés to competitive knitalongs at agricultural fairs. The section on giving shares some information on how to get involved in knitting for those in need. Knitting for Peace is a good place to look for that as well.

There are many, many projects that I can’t wait to start. I love the Blessingway Blanket by Hannah Cuviello and the Barn Raising Quilt. Both of them would be really fun to knit with other knitters – the different pieces that make up the Blessingway are divided by skill level. Thankfully there’s a sale on at Romni right now!

P.S. I just noticed that afghans for Afghans has a knit- and crochet-along.

Shawl from Ocean Falls

My Grandma sent me this beautiful shawl. Handwoven by one of her old friends from Ocean Falls – Sylvia Hiebert. Ocean Falls is a ghost town now but in the 1950s when my grandparents moved there there were more than 3,500 people. Most of them working for the mill.

Sylvia\'s shawl detail

I think the shawl is made of a mohair blend. So soft and, since my Grandma doesn’t wear shawls or scarves (as I learned the hard way after some hard kntting hours), it’s like new. Very fine and such a vibrant colour.

I think I remember meeting Sylvia once when I was very young. I was sad to hear that she passed away recently but I’m happy that my Grandma shared her fine work with me.

Mr. Bear

Mr. Bear Full BodyThis bear is for little Jindra. It, or he, or she was a labour of love. I’m hoping that Jindra won’t want to take off and put on the lamb suit. I’m hoping he’ll just leave it on. Hiding the weird neck work I did.

Ugh. I just found this very helpful assembly post. Why didn’t I look for this before I butchered the neck. I ended up making a second gusset and attaching it to the neck opening.

I really like this book though – Debbie Bliss’ The Baby Knits Book. Really sweet and cozy things. And knitting with her cashmerino aran is really lovely.

Mr. Bear’s close up