Shetland Hap Shawl

When I read about The Shetland Hap Shawl with Gudrun Johnston, the new Craftsy Class, I just knew that I had found the Shetland Hap Shawl that I wanted to knit. Her pattern for Hansel the half version of the Hap Shawl really appealed to me…

Shetland Hap Shawl

Knitting the Shetland Hap Shawl had been on my wish list for a long time and I’d looked at a few different options. I loved the colour choices used by Kate Davies for the Northmavine Hap when I saw it in her book The Colours of Shetland and have it tagged with a post it note… I also adored the 3/4 Hap Shawl designed by Veera Välimäki. But in the end it was Gudrun’s Shetland Hap Shawl that had me casting on.

Shetland Hap Shawl Class

I just knew that I would wear the half version much more than the full Hap Shawl. I loved that it was a traditional style of Shetland Hap Shawl. We’re going on holiday to Shetland later in the year and I thought this shawl would be lovely to wear while we’re travelling around Shetland.

Shetland Hap Shawl

Gudrun Johnston (who was born on Shetland) is a pleasure to listen to. The lessons are well planned and she explains and shows every stage clearly using many samples. I watched Lesson 7 The Half-Hap Shawl first and then I went back to the first lesson and watched all of the lessons from the beginning while I was knitting my shawl.

Shetland Hap Shawl using Shilasdair Luxury 4ply

Although the J&S Shetland Heritage seemed like the obvious yarn choice for knitting this shawl, I decided to use the Shilasdair Luxury 4ply yarn to knit my shawl as I’ve been watching out for the perfect project for this beautiful yarn. For the main colour I used Blaeberry. There are 4 contrasting colours and I chose Rowan Berry (CC1), Fleece Cloud (CC2), Juniper (CC3) and Hawthorn (CC4). The vibrant colours look gorgeous together. I only used 2 skeins of Blaeberry and a lot less than 1 skein of each of the other colours.

Shetland Hap Shawl

It is unusual for me to knit a pattern and not have it covered with notations and tweaks where I did something slightly different. When I was knitting this pattern, I didn’t change anything. I used the 5 mm needles as specified. The Shilasdair luxury 4ply is a very beautiful and soft yarn – 10% cashmere, 10% baby camel, 40% angora and 40% merino lambswool.

I am so used to knitting with sock yarn where there is a nylon content for added strength, and I’m quite a tight knitter, so I was slightly shocked when my yarn broke when I was knitting the old shale border. So I had to really make myself loosen up as I was knitting. This was also in my mind when I was blocking my shawl. I used pins on my mat and didn’t pull the shawl too forcefully!

Shetland Hap Shawl

The shawl consists of 3 parts – the first section is a centre triangle knit using the main colour which grows by 1 stitch on each row. When I had knit to the widest part of the triangle all of the live stitches where placed on some waste yarn and left until the end. This felt a bit weird and I have to say I left very long tails to make sure no stitches were going to escape. But really… there was no chance of this happening.

Shetland Hap Shawl

The second section is a border in Old Shale (Feather and Fan) lace pattern. This is where the contrast colours where used.

The third section, was the lace edging which was knit using the main colour.

Shetland Hap Shawl

One thing that really struck me when I wore this shawl for the first time was just how lovely the stretchy cast off edge is. It is comfortable and soft against my skin and finishes off the shawl perfectly.

Shetland Hap Shawl

What can I say about this pattern? Gudrun Johnston has written a wonderful pattern that is easy to follow. Just follow her instructions as they are written and you won’t go wrong. The pattern is a perfect choice for a beginner but has enough going on to interest a more advanced knitter.

The class is wonderful. I really enjoyed listening to Gudrun and it was very helpful being able to see how to do each step. With most of the classes I watch, I’m interested in the technique rather than knitting one of the specific projects. I suppose the biggest accolade I can say for this class is that I actually knit the project, finished it and love it. And I adore my finished Shetland Hap Shawl. I love my colour choices and this luxurious yarn. The finished shawl is light and airy as well as warm and cosy and I can’t wait to wear it while I am on holiday!

Shetland Hap Shawl

About Nicolette


  1. Sharon Williams says:

    Your colour choices are beautiful. I found your blog whilst looking for mitred square instructions, then got carried away reading, then bought this Craftsy class. I have a queue of knitting but will sneak in the mini one while being indecisive about colours for my half hap.

    • Hi Sharon, Thank you for your kind comments about the Knitting Squirrel. Gudrun Johnston’s Craftsy Class on the Shetland Hap Shawl is wonderful. I watched each section as I was knitting it on my shawl and found it wonderfully helpful. I chose colours that I really love to wear and this is one of my favourite shawls. To the point that I will need to do a repair on the neck edge where it has frayed due to over use! It is the perfect size of a shawl for wearing. Happy Hap Knitting, Nicolette

  2. Rachel💖 Margerum says:

    I’m not a very good at knitting and haven’t pursued this hobby, however I crochet quite a lot. I would love to be be able to crochet a hap, do you have any suggestions on where I can find a pattern?
    I must say your Hap is beautiful, the colours blend really well. 🙂

    • I can’t suggest a crochet version of the hap shawl but Joanne Scrace has designed a selection of crocheted shawls in The Shawl Project book. You could check that out or try searching on Ravelry. Try doing a search in the patterns section of Craftsy. Maybe one of the readers here can suggest one? I hope that helps.

  3. Hi. I love your shawl (of course – otherwise why comment – lol), and really appreciated the links to the yarns. I live in NZ, and (surprisingly) good yarns are not always easy to find, so I ended up buying the Shilasdair thru the link you provided.
    All the pics I’ve seen of hap shawls, the main colour has always been white(ish) or grey, so it didn’t even cross my mind to consider a ‘real’ colour until I saw yours (I settled on Bracken for my MC).
    I bought several Craftsy classes when the Black Friday sale was on, and considered the Hap Shawl one, but decided on a lace one in the end, so I will knitting from the pattern alone. Looking forward to getting the beautiful yarns and starting.
    Anyway, great article, and beautiful pics. Cheers.

    • The Hap shawl is beautiful when it is finished. Bracken is a gorgeous rich colour and will be amazing for the main colour. Are you doing the half size or the full size shawl? Thank you for the kind comments which are really appreciated. Hope you have a fabulous New Year. Happy Knitting, Nicolette

  4. Hi Nicolette,

    I have to say I love your color choices for your hap! I don’t knit but that makes wish I did.
    Do you make these to sell like on Etsy?

    Bev from USA

  5. I can’t find the link for the pattern or tutorial..can you guide me pls. I’ve been looking for a special shawl pattern to make as a gift..this is such a beautiful project. I never have seen or even heard of this shawl. thank you.

    • Hi Nicole
      I made my Shetland Hap Shawl while working alongside the The Shetland Hap Shawl with Gudrun Johnston which is a class on Craftsy. It is a wonderful class where she shows how to knit each element of the shawl by knitting a small sample shawl. The class comes with the Shetland Hap Shawl pattern. You can also buy the Hansel Shetland Hap Shawl on Ravelry. I knit the Hansel version of the shawl which is the half version rather than the larger square version. It is a beautiful shawl. Hope the links help.
      Happy Shawl Knitting, Nicolette

  6. I just returned from Wool Week 2016. It was wonderful reading another view of Lerwick and the surrounding countryside, not to mention the wonderful wool!

  7. Hilary Underwood says:

    Please could you advise where I can get the pattern for Gudrun Johnson Shetland Hap Shawl. I am a very experience knitter and with my father being a Scotsman, have always wanted to knit one of these but could not find a pattern.

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