Beyond Devastated

by Lee Louise

For a month or so now, I have been knitting Denise Bell’s Lerwick Harbour Hap from Ultima Thule:—full-hap

I promptly bought the book when I saw it at Denise’s Lost City Knits booth in the Stitches South 2016 Marketplace last April. I also bought five skeins of her Foothills Fingering, a luscious 100% merino wool, fingering weight yarn, in colors that I love. Natural, orange, red, yellow and mud (I don’t know what else to call it, it might be green or it might be brown, but I love it):


And (drum roll!!) I started knitting on May 6. First I made an inner square of orange garter stitch, then on May 13 I started knitting feather and fan stripes outward from the edges of that inner square, with the other colors. Let me tell you, this yarn is fabulous! Soft as silk, and a treat to the fingers. And, about 800 or more yards later, I have yet to find a single knot. The quality of this yarn is beyond wonderful, and the softest of all is the undyed natural.

I finished the feather and fan border on June 4, and reluctantly set it aside while I knit lace and socks.

On June 20, I picked it up again, and started the outer lace border. Lace and rope cables. Gotta love it:


Then, at a Sit and Knit on the evening of June 22, disaster struck!! I was sitting on a kitchen chair and holding the bulk of the shawl in my lap when… the shawl fell OFF my lap, and about 30 stitches came off the left needle. This included dropping the stitch where the outer border joins the body of the shawl, and that stitch ran merrily down several rows, so that about two inches of outer border were no longer connected to the shawl. Gravity is NOT our friend.

Slightly devastated (is that even a possible state of being?)

So, after salvaging what I could at the Sit and Knit, restoring the stitches to my needles as best I could, and marking dropped, and potentially running, stitches with safety-pin-type stitch markers to prevent them from dropping further, I set the whole thing aside. Brushed the yarn fuzz off my hands, as it were. Symbolically turned my back on it.

Surgery on the Hap. That is what was needed. Also, I needed time to quit hating it…

Beyond devastated (I couldn’t even bear to take a picture for historical purposes, which I regret now. A blog requires religious documentation of the state of one’s knitting when one is in the depths of devastation, as well as pictures of hap-pier times.)

On June 24, surgery was performed successfully. I added a rubber band at the base of the right needle to prevent future loss of stitches from that quarter. The little white thing that appears to be glowing? That is the rubber band:


There was considerable un-knitting before I could start knitting again. I am once again in love with my Lerwick Harbour Hap:



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