On April 15, you might have remembered to file your taxes, but did you finish your handspun hap? Spin Off magazine just wrapped up its annual spinalong/knitalong on Ravelry. This year, we focused on the Shetland-inspired hap. While not all participants finished their spinning and knitting before the deadline (guilty), many in our “hapalong” group managed to complete both!
This year’s hapalong was our most challenging “along” yet, but in many ways, it was the most meaningful. Our group welcomed both brand-new spinners working on their very first handspun, handknitted project and seasoned handspinners who’ve been knitting with their handspun for years. A few in our ranks had multiple hap projects already under their belts. All experience levels were welcomed, included, and encouraged equally.
Hapalong participants worked with rolags, roving, batts, and combed top. Haps ranged in color from natural, earthy shades of wool to hand-dyed combinations in soft pastels and bold blues. Some participants held fast to tradition, spinning the yarn for their haps from Shetland wool, which we decided does not count as stash acquisition when purchased for use during the hapalong. Others paid homage to the Shetlanders’ ability to make do with what they had on hand by diving deep into their stash. We spun luxury blends and rustic wools. We prepared raw fleece and used, ready-to-spin fiber. We even spun from our own flocks! Whether we spun our yarn with a spindle or at the wheel, our handspun haps reflected our individuality.
We cheered for each completed hap and bowed our heads and tried to comfort a spinner whose exquisite hap was all that remained of her ewe and 2 lambs, unexpectedly gone from her flock.
If you’ve always thought about joining a virtual group for a spinalong/knitalong, check out the Spin Off Knitters & Spinners group on Ravelry. We’re currently planning next year’s theme.
Up next, join us for the Tour de Fleece in July!
Featured Image: Though not knitted in handspun yarn, Rebecca Blair’s giant Woodland Hap Shawl would make a challenging handspun-hap project. Photo by Harper Point Photography