karen – the story of a hap shawl

Once a upon a time there were two friends. Both of them mad about all things woolly but separated by much land and water. After a lot of thought they decided to start working together and so they set up a co-operation giving it the very befitting name of WoolyLoops. Here they can live the dream of offering magical yarny trips to foreign lands, exciting knitalongs for like minded souls and beautiful pattern and yarn kits for other yarn enthusiasts.

Karen Hap Collage 1

yarn and swatch – heike’s mood board – inspirational photo from www.design-seeds.com

So it was that one day not so long ago one friend received a parcel from her partner containing some lovely yarn in beautiful natural colours. Immediately lots of ideas started going around her head and it wasn’t long before she started winding and swatching and putting a mood board of ideas together. One big idea kept coming back initiated by her love (some might say obsession) of the author Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen). You see, this friend has long been collecting and reading books about colonial East Africa and developed a special interest for above named Danish author and her life, even paying a visit last year to author’s former home Rungstedlund, in Denmark.

Karen Hap Collage 2

favourite book – karen Blixen at home – part of africa book shelves – rungstedlund

The yarn colours received in the parcel not only reminded her of Africa, but also of Shetland, and the idea of designing a Hap shawl was born. It became obvious very quickly that a traditional square Hap shawl wouldn’t be very user friendly for today’s purpose. In the old days Hap’s would be folded in half, wrapped around the front, crossed over to the back and then knotted into place to keep the wearer warm living in the cold and wet climate of the Shetland Isles. Much too hot today, so a half Hap it would be.

Karen Hap 3

finished hap blocking

After many hours of knitting, ripping back and more knitting, the shawl was finished, and after another fair good time spent pinning it out for blocking, finally it was done.

Karen Hap Collage 4

the karen hap

To the great delight of both said friends the story has a very happy ending as the shawl turned out as beautiful as they had imagined, and today they are pleased to offer you the opportunity to make one of these beauties for yourself.

The Karen Hap Shawl will be launched this weekend during one of Germany’s most famous Wool Festival’s in Backnang. It is available to order via the Wollsinn website here as a kit from today, with shipment of orders starting from 15 April. The kit contains 5 hanks of beautiful Isager Alpaca 2 in either the above colours, or choose your own from the extensive colour palette and the pattern (available in English or German).

This beautiful large shawl will keep you snug and warm, becoming a firm friend in no time.

Do I sound just a little proud? I hope you don’t mind…I am, and so hope you like it just a wee bit too?

Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you.


new design – teaser 2

… and so the story continues…

Isager Alpaca 2 and swatch, Karen Blixen's farm MBagathi in Africa, Her home Rungstedlund in Denmark, sample of design - photos all author's own

Isager Alpaca 2 and swatch, Karen Blixen’s farm MBagathi in Kenya, her home Rungstedlund in Denmark, sample of design – photos all author’s own

Shetland meets Africa and Denmark!
Launch date tomorrow 9 April 2015
All will be revealed!

introducing cariad


Hello my lovely readers, how have you been? Well I hope and keeping warm during these very chilli days and nights!

It’s hard to believe that February is almost over and in only 6 days time here in Wales we will be celebrating St. David’s day.

Saint David, or Dewi Sant as he’s called in the Welsh language, is the patron saint of Wales and celebrations take place on the 1st of March every year around Wales. There aren’t many facts about St David; but here are a few undisputed ones.

  • He really existed
  • He was at the heart of the Welsh church in the 6th century
  • He came from an aristocratic family in West Wales
  • His mother was a saint, Saint Non
  • His teacher was also a saint, St Paulinus
  • He founded a large monastery in West Wales
  • He was one of the early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of Western Britain
  • He became Archbishop of Wales, but remained in his community at Menevia (now called St Davids)
  • He was active in suppressing the Pelagian heresy
  • His shrine became a great place of pilgrimage; four visits to the shrine at St David’s were considered the equivalent of two to Rome, and one to Jerusalem! (source: BBC)

The most famous story about Saint David tells how he was preaching to a huge crowd and the ground is said to have risen up, so that he was standing on a hill and everyone had a better chance of hearing him.

Every year we celebrate St. David’s Day in our homes, schools and churches with fabulous Daffodil displays, song and general happy get-togethers.

This year I thought I do something special and after conversing with my dear friend and co-operator Claudia (www.wollsinn.de), we came up with our latest shawl design. Claudia set to work dying the most delicious colours of yarn, I got my calculator out to work on stitch counts and together we came up with Cariad.

Cariad, the welsh word for sweetheart or darling, a term of endearment is a semi-circular shawl giving you a warm and endearing hug, using Isager Alpaca 2, lovingly hand painted by Wollsinn and Isager Tvinni for a lace edge.

Just look at these colour combinations…


…aren’t they just unbelievably beautiful! Choose from any of these combinations or e-mail Claudia with your own special wishes. The Kit comes with all the yarn necessary to make the shawl and includes the pattern in either German or English.

It can be ordered directly via Claudia’s website here.

Enjoy your week and for St David’s day I wish you…

Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus!




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