Saturday, 24 January 2015

Shetland Knitting, A Way Of Life - 60 North Magazine

I received the latest copy of 60 North magazine yesterday afternoon and I must say I feel very proud -  my photo is featured on the front cover. 

In an article in the magazine I speak about how important knitting is for my personal and Shetland's heritage.  Knitting has been a huge part of my life, as I grew up I was constantly surrounded by women knitting and finishing garments to sell and for clothing for the family.  However, it is only now that most of them are no longer with us, I realise that the skill and knowledge they had was truly invaluable.  I regret not paying more attention to what they are doing.  We are at a crucial stage in Shetland where the number of hand knitters is in decline, particularly those that knit for money.  Unfortunately knitting is no longer taught here in schools so it is up to us as individuals to pass on these hugely valuable skills before it is lost.
There are several other textile related articles in the magazine, Rosalyn Chapman looks at the Truck and Barter system, where knitters exchanged their work at the local shop for goods rather than cash.  Interestingly, I mention in my article that I remember my Grandmother telling us how she used to go to the "street" on Saturday with gloves and come back with the Sunday roast.  I assume she got cash which she then spent at the butchers but you never know, she was the kind of person who could and would barter for anything!
There are two very interesting personal accounts of last years wool week by visitors to the islands Diana Lukas-Nulle from Hamburg and Anna Bednarikova from Czechoslovakia :

Alistair Hamilton looks at "Everest" Jumpers as worn by Sir Edmund Hillary:
Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary Diary gives us a taste of the Shetland food trail:
This is just a small sample of what the magazine has to offer, there are many more articles including a lovely looking recipe for pan-fried hake on spiced coconut and chilli puy lentils with pickled carrots, mussel pakora, raita and coriander oil by Akshay Borges from the Scalloway Hotel.  That one is definitely on my "to do list".
If you are in Shetland you can purchase the magazine from The Shetland Museum shop, the Tourist Office at the Market Cross, and Scoop.  You can order a copy online from the Promote Shetland website, or even better why not buy a year's subscription.  At only £15 for four copies a year it really is a bargain.
I personally think it is a very good magazine (think the Shetland version of the Simple Things), there are always lots of interesting articles, and it is beautifully laid out.  It is an ideal read for both tourists and locals alike. 
In fact - I took a copy on holiday to Tenerife last year and reading it made me a bit home sick!!

1 comment:

  1. I have just finished reading your article in the 60 north magazine, which I enjoyed enormously. Sadly, the issue you raised is common among many of our communities in the UK. I live in the north of England and many of our local crafts, once common place are now dying out, such as making proddy mats from scrap fabric to cover the bare wooden floors of many mining homes. I too remember my gran always with needles in her hands, clicking away and wish I had paid more attention to what she was making. Thank you for raising awareness through this article which I hope will help keep this fascinating craft alive in the Shetland Isles.