November 01, 2016

Bookish. - Issue 11

Bookish by amirisu

The Book of HAPS

Kate Davies

Softcover, 122 pages. £19.99

Bookish by amirisu

This book on “haps” just came out in July from Kate Davies. Hap is what they call traditional shawls in the north of the UK. According to the book, the term is older than “shawl,” and is still often used as both a noun and a verb (to keep warm by cuddling up with a blanket of sorts) in Scotland.  First, Kate introduces the history of haps, with extensive research -- how they were made and evolved, and how they have been a part of people’s lives -- which takes up about 40% of the book. The second part of the book is dedicated to exploring “modern haps” with talented designers around the world. Many varied interpretations of haps are in the collection.

When we talk about Shetland shawls in Japan, the first thing that comes to mind is the intricate white lace shawls, but I’ve learned that that is a type which came much later. Haps used to be a part of women’s work wear during winter, using hand-spun yarn from local wool harvests, knit in thick garter stitches to wrap around a woman’s head and body for warmth and comfort.  I am drawn to these haps and want to make one for myself this coming winter.

Among the collection, I love the construction of the hexagonal piece by Tom van Deijnen, and the color combination of Jen Arnall-Culliford’s Nut-Hap.  Gudrun Johnston’s Lang Ayre pattern is an intriguing combination of utility with the possibility of color play.

The book is a recommended source of inspiration for all hap lovers around the globe.