The baby shower was Saturday, but I've got one more gift on the needles – Hansel, a hap shawl designed by Gudrun Johnston. A hap shawl is a traditional Shetland baby gift, a garter stitch square bordered by a traditional Shetland lace pattern such as feather and fan or old shale, with a knitted-on border that finishes the whole thing off. They are simultaneously workaday and beautiful, full of personal meaning and carrying the weight of tradition, and I have wanted to make one – to have a reason to make one – for a long time.
I have been tinkering away on this in the background for months, but it's suddenly at the front of my queue and I urgently need to get moving. Acres of grey garter stitch isn't the most engaging of knitting, but I've only got 72 more rows of that before I get to tackle the fun part. I intend to be knitting lace by the weekend. Even the Christmas socks, those fingering-weight-on-2-mm albatrosses that I've been carrying everywhere lately, have been set aside for this project.
And so: back to the needles.