Well that’s just a tiny bit of something that is now much bigger. I knit a square and then picked up stitches all the way around the edge. The edging is worked outward in the round in a simple feather and fan pattern, and now that I’ve only got a few rounds left it’s a huge blob of bunched up knitting that’s threatening to engulf the sofa (that’s a metre long needle). I’d show you the whole thing spread out, but that’s really impossible.
How big it will actually be will remain a mystery until I bind off, and most likely it will grow again when I block it. I don’t think it’s going to be enormous, but it certainly feels like it right now.
The yarn is much thicker than is traditionally used but this blankie uses several key elements of traditional Shetland Hap shawls – the square garter stitch centre and the feather and fan border with colour bands. It seems like these were made for more everyday use, for snuggling a baby, wrapping around cold heads and shoulders, than the really elaborate wedding ring shawls. The thing is, I really know nothing about the traditions of Hap shawls, just the basic style, but knitting this sort of Hap blanket sparked my interest and I’ve ordered Sharon Miller’s ‘Shetland Hap Shawls – Then and Know’. I’ve heard great things about her book ‘Heirloom Knitting’, so I had to order that too and I’m really looking forward to reading those.
Apparently this is part of a larger desire to learn more about knitting traditions. Yesterday Terri Shea’s book ‘Selbuvotter – Biography of a Knitting Tradition’ arrived, and although I haven’t had a chance to more than leaf through it it looks very interesting and inspiring. My library of knitting books is really rather small, and I don’t have much interest in pattern books, but if you have any recommendations of books in a similar vein to these I’d love to hear them.