Thursday, 10 March 2016

Shetland Lace is

one of those things that has people salivating - at least those people who know about knitting or any other yarn art and craft or those who simply appreciate the handwork of others.
The Senior Cat refers to it as "that stuff you make with all the holes in it"  but he still says things like "I don't know how you do it" and "it looks so complicated". Yes, it requires concentration. 
For the knitters among you who don't know - Shetland lace has a garter stitch base, yarn overs and knitting stitches together. That makes it sound simple. It isn't - but it might be an improvement on the "nupps" in Estonian lace.
But Kate Davies is writing a book about "haps". Haps are shawls.
You don't say "hap shawl" because the word "hap" means much the same thing - a covering.
And yesterday her blog showed a picture of a Patons leaflet with two "Shetland" shawls. They were, of course, designed for the average knitter. They were not designed for the women of Shetland. 
I have a copy of the Australian version of that leaflet. It belonged to my paternal grandmother. She made such things. All her nieces and nephews (and there were quite a few of them) were given one when they were expecting their first child. The expectation was that they would keep it carefully and use it for all children thereafter. I believe most of them did. There are still some stored away carefully and they are used only as christening shawls.
Her own children, two boys, never had any such gift. It was considered they didn't need it. Their paternal grandmother had provided something similar, along with the christening gown. My brother and I wore the christening gown. It is still there in linen press. My niece's children were too big to wear it. Babies, it seems. are getting bigger.
But the shawl was ruined, not through carelessness but through accidental flooding. Had I known, had I been old enough, I might have tried to rescue it but  the men clearing out the mess had no idea and they just threw it out.  
I remember it vaguely. I know it was made by my paternal great-great grandmother and I have the faintest recollection of something almost as fine as sewing thread with a border of what I thought of as "pine trees". 
I wish we still had it. 


Kate Lace said...

I probably haven't the same skill level as your grandmother but I could knit you one, if you'd like

catdownunder said...

Ooh Catherine! I was, seriously, wondering whether you would be interested in doing a test knit when I write something else for the class I am teaching here in January '17. Will message you on FB.

Kate Lace said...

Message away. If I can, I will