Haps are a particularly warm and simple shawl, usually associated with the Shetland Islands. The word Hap itself is simply Scottish for shawl or wrap. While fine lace shawls are also associated with the Shetland Islands, it is the humble Hap that I think of most often when I think of Shetland shawls.
Traditionally, Haps were knitted with a construction technique that began with a central square, usually knitted back and forth. From there, a border was knitted in the round, encompassing the middle square. This method of construction is still associated with most Shetland lace shawls and the more common Haps. It forms a large, square shawl that can be folded in half and worn in several different ways.
Half-Haps are made in a triangular shape more common to the shawls we generally see today. They are worn the same way as a square Hap, but are not doubled-up because they are not folded over.
Haps are usually knitted in lace or fingering weight wool, sometimes in simple, natural colors, or in the bright shades associated with Fair Isle knitting. Haps are lovely, sturdy, warm shawls worth learning to make. Though of course, any yarn is perfect for making a Hap, I have selected our more specialized Scottish yarns and British yarns to highlight here.
I have assembled 21 Hap patterns from Ravelry, all of which are available as digital downloads, either in single-pattern or book format. I have sorted them by yarn weight into two categories: lace-weight patterns and fingering- or light fingering-weight patterns.
We carry several lace-weight wools appropriate for Haps, including:
Click on any picture below to be taken directly to that Hap's pattern page on Ravelry.
Fingering- and Light-Fingering Weight Haps
We also carry many light fingering or fingering weight yarns that are ideal for Haps:
Jamieson & Smith 2-Ply Jumper Weight, Jamieson & Smith Heritage line (both naturals and colors), Jamieson & Smith Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight; Blacker Breeds Pure Gotland 4-Ply, Blacker Classic British 4-Ply, Blacker Hebridean and Manx Mohair Blend 4-Ply; Blacker Pure Jacob 4-Ply, Blacker Swan Falkland Islands Merino 4-Ply, and Blacker Tamar Lustre 4-Ply; Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn 4-Ply.
Click on any picture below to go directly to the pattern's Ravelry page.
Pick up some lovely Scottish or British yarn today, and make yourself a warm, comfortable Hap. You can stick to the very traditional patterns and colors utilizing Jamieson & Smith's or some of Blacker's yarns, or you can venture into higher-end Hap knitting with a British silk blend like Eden Cottage's Milburn or Blacker's heirloom wool Tamar Lustre. The best part is how much fun you'll have creating a project that can be worn for generations.