Houlland: Construction and Finishing

My current fascination with haps has a lot to do with how the haps are constructed. Houlland is put together by first knitting the bottom border back and forth to make a long skinny rectangle.

diagram of border

Then the shawl is knit upward from stitches picked up along the top of the border.

diagram of how body is knit

The triangular shape is formed by decreases on each end of every right-side row. These decreases have the effect of pulling the long bottom border up to form two sides of the triangle.

diagram showing how triangular shape is formed

The last step is a 9-stitch bind off at the top center.

diagram showing where BO stitches are on shawl

Once the stitches are bound off, they have to be sewn together to make a flat edge at the top of the shawl. The orange curve shows these stitches.

photo pointing out BO stitches

Let’s get a little closer to see the 9 bind-off stitches.

photo of close up of BO stitches

They can be hard to see, so the stitches are outlined in orange below. My tension in the row before the bind off is a little uneven, so the stitches are wonky. I’ll do some tweaking to fix that before sewing these stitches together.

pic of BO stitches with BO stitches highlighted

If you look carefully, you can see that the fifth bind-off stitch (highlighted in blue) lines up with the center spine of the shawl (also highlighted in blue).

photo of BO stitches with center BO stitch highlighted

Now let’s move the sides together to see the V-shape.

photo of BO stitches forming a V-shape

The bind-off stitches can be sewn together by matching them up from the top to the bottom of the notch. So there will be four pairs of stitches that match up with one stitch left at the bottom.

photo showing the BO stitches matched up

After sewing this “seam”, the shawl is ready for washing and blocking. Then the ends can be woven in.

photo of finished Houlland shawl

Houlland by Donna Smith from The Book of Haps
Yarn: Shetland Supreme 2-Ply Lace Weight in Grey (I used less than 657 yards, yielding a shawl smaller than the pattern specs.)
Needles: US 4
Size: 48 inches wide, 22 inches deep

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