The Holy Grail

Although all signs might point to that, I have not stopped breathing nor have my arms dropped off. I’m still around, and when I am not working or flying or packing or unpacking, I am even knitting.

And I’m not just knitting… I am knitting the Haapsalu Shawl.

To me this shawl has always been like an unreachable Holy Grail… I am not even sure what exactly has been so scary… Maybe it is because the delicate lace seemed so unreal, there was no way I could have been able to create something so fairy-tale-like. Or because of the relatively strict rules that make a piece of knitting a real Haapsalu Shawl. Or maybe it was just the general level of my unawareness – I just had no clue where should I start from.

Haapsalu shawl
A swatch, that’s what you start with! 🙂

Last month I had a chance to attend a two-day workshop by Ivika Viljasaar, a well-known Estonian Haapsalu Shawl enthusiast. I really enjoyed her way of “teaching” – there were handouts to be read, and formulas to be used, shawl samples to ooh! at, and enough coffee to fuel the whole process. And throughout the whole weekend she kept reassuring that it is really not scary at all!

Of course, wanting to do it all right (and, let’s be honest, a bit of shopping), the following Monday I equipped myself with suitable needles, yarn and some instructional materials.

Holy Grail Haapsalu Shawl

As you can see from my swatch I have decided to start off with a simpler pattern, without any nupps. I estimate I am about half way through knitting the centre section part, and so far it does not seem too impossible. However, let’s see how I feel about it when I start calculating the stitches for the lace edging 😉

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