Haapsalu shawl class

On Sunday, I took an all-day class on knitting Haapsalu shawls with Nancy Bush, offered through the Sand N Sea knitting guild. It was a lot of fun and I even finished my class sample during the class. I’ve often left classes with an unfinished project that I’ve never gone back to complete.

In a traditional Haapsalu shawl ( Haapsalu being a town in Estonia) the edgings are knit separately and then sewn on to the center later. This way the edging can begin from the outside points and work inward, allowing for different patterning than picked up edgings. Traditionally these shawls were knit as a cottage industry and the whole family could be knitting on the same shawl at once.

Here’s my little class project. I even blocked it out that night!


The borders are done in two parts, sewn to the center and then they are seen together in the two corners. It is a traditional Lily of the Field motif. This used Jamison’s Lace weight yarn and is about a foot in height.

I’m not sure if there are any Estonian shawls in my future. The one on the cover of Nancy’s book is pretty appealing to me. It does feel like a waste to knit a square shawl just to fold it in half though.

Any nupp fans out there? If I knit the shawl, I’ll do hundreds if not thousands of them!



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4 responses to “Haapsalu shawl class

  1. I haven’t tried nupps yet, although your mini-project is really pretty!

    • jborders

      Thank you for your comment! I love my little mini-project, but have no idea what to do with it besides just putting it on a table as a doily!


  2. You will become addicted. I found Nancy’s book a few years ago, and started right in on Queen Sylvia’s shawl. It took me 2 years, much unknitting,putting it aside in frustration, to complete, but it is lovely. I then moved on to do two scarf/shawl type things – much faster because I discovered life lines. I strongly recommend you learn to use them if you decide to make a larger piece. I learned about them in a class I took at my LYS, never had run into them elsewhere – when you have the pattern set and you know the stitches on your needle are right, take a piece of thread or embroidery floss or dental floss, about a foot longer than the piece is wide, thread it on a needle (embroidery size or larger. Not so small it will split your yarn fiber). Just run the thread along the working needle, and leave the ends hanging. Keep on going with your knitting, leaving the thread in place. If you make an error, just rip out your work back to the thread – you will have live stitches on it, and you know they are right. So much faster than un-knitting until you have the right number of stitches again! I generally move it up every few rows as I learn the pattern, then once I have the hang of it, I move it every couple of pattern repeats. And I try to set it in place right BEFORE a nupp row, because, in answer to your question, I am NOT a nup p. I hate them but they look lovely when done. Make them as loose as you possibly can to make the purl row easier.
    no matter what, remember that you are doing this project because you love to knit and it will be a lovely piece when you are done. Good luck! And I am so jealous that you have actually met and been taught by Nancy Bush!

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