Monday, 28 September 2015

Shetland Wool Week 2015 Day 3

I had no classes today so this morning on my way to Lerwick I stopped at the Scalloway museum. They are open all week and have a display of knitwear in the centre of the exhibition with a small selection of knitwear through the years.

Its not everyday you see a pair of Fair Isle underpants on top of a tattit rug (and before anyone asks these are not a serious item and were made for a joke!)

They have a small café with tables which makes an ideal place to knit a while and knit while enjoying a view of the Scalloway castle.
There was tea, bannocks, rhubarb jam and buttered oatcakes, all made by my Great Aunt Emma this morning.
Here she is - an amazing lady who at the age of 94 can do anything!

She is an expert at Shetland lace knitting:

There is also a shop area with an amazing array of handknits:

The museum is open everyday during Shetland Wool Week from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m., there will be locals there everyday demonstrating either knitting or spinning.
I spent the afternoon in the hub at Isleburgh, it was mostly chatting and not much knitting!
In the evening I had the pleasure of spending a wonderful evening at the museum lecture theatre where Ella Gordon and Kate Davies gave a very interesting talk on their collections of vintage knitwear.
Felicity (who introduced the speakers), Ella and Kate:
Some of Ella's extensive collection:

And I am still finding it a bit surreal seeing all the Baa-ble hats!

Speak tomorrow!

Shetland Wool Week 2015 - Day Two

Yesterday was day two of Shetland Wool Week.  I spent most of the day at the hub chatting with people and then was at the opening ceremony in the evening.  It was too late to blog when I got home so here we are now on day three!

The photos below show some of the highlights of the day and the opening ceremony (I didn't get a chance to take many photos at the opening ceremony).
Knitters gathering at the hub at Isleburgh Community Centre:
 The opening ceremony about to start:
Hjaltibonhoga Fiddlers opened the ceremony.  They are wearing outfits designed and made by Shetland based Niela Nell Designs
Beautiful (and tasty) Shetland Wool Week cakes:
Cutting the cake....I am wearing a tank top in ShetlandWool I made to wear at the opening - I will blog about it once Wool Week is out of the way!

 After the speeches and Q & A speeches we were entertained by the brilliant Felicity Ford AKA Knitsonik, who wrote this song about Shetland last year

And then she was joined on stage by Louise Scollay (who many of you will know from the Knitbritish podcast), who became Knitting Pundits - what would it would be like is knitting became as popular as football and was reported on the news?  Hilarious and very entertaining!

The evening was rounded off by the lovely Claire White, who was our compare for the evening, she sang a beautiful song she had written about the tale of Betty Mouat, who in 1886, set off to sail from the south end of Shetland to sell her knitwear in Lerwick.  A storm came up and the crew were lost.  She drifted for 9 days before she hit dry land - this expedition made her a bit of a celebrity.  You can read more about her here or by reading the essay about her in the Shetland Wool Week Annual Volume One.

There will be more pictures from today later on!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Shetland Wool Week Day One

Photo: Misa Hay
Today was the first day of Shetland Wool Week 2015!  This year, many of the classes take place in the Wool Week Hub, Isleburgh Community Centre and it is also a place to sit and knit, drink tea and coffee and to meet other knitters.

 Visitors are arriving from all over the world:

 Publications on sale in the hub:
 Project bags designed by the fabulous Felicity Ford AKA Knitsonik:
And here she is wearing her Baa-ble hat:
I spent most of my day teaching a group of lovely ladies a class on designing their own "toorie hat" or beanie:

 Some of my hats with Felicity's one in the front:

I will be at the Hub tomorrow afternoon and the opening ceremony in the evening. 
Maybe see you there!



Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Shetland Wool Week - who's coming?

I know I keep saying it but I really don't know where the time has gone lately.  I am teaching my first Shetland Wool Week workshop on Saturday and the official opening ceremony is on Sunday evening - already!

The first Shetland Wool Week annual has been published and I am honoured to be part of it.  It is a beautiful magazine, well laid out with a very contemporary feel.  I feel privileged to be featured in it beside my most admired knitwear designers and writers.  There are eight patterns (all using Shetland wool of course) by Hazel Tindall, Ella Gordon, Gudrun Johnston, Outi Kater, and myself, essays by Kate Davies, Laurie Goodlad and Carol Christiansen and interviews with the designers.

Gudrun Johnston's Belmont Cardigan
Ella Gordon's Rof Hat
An interview with Hazel Tindall and her Handwarmer pattern

Kate Davies tells the amazing story of Betty Mouat
The annual is currently available by mail order online through the Shetland Wool Week website and will be available to purchase at the Wool Week hub at Isleburgh Community Centre during the event.  I have been told that they are selling really quickly, so if you want one you better hurry!  They can be ordered here.
My offering to the annual is a pattern for my version of my Granny Maggie's gloves. 

 They use a traditional Norwegian star pattern on the back of the hand.  Granny almost always used natural colours (I remember she always had a lot of fawn) but I have updated them using blocks of brighter colours.  I used to always find that the little finger was too long, I have hopefully solved that by adding in a few more rows. 

The hens were quite interested in what I was doing!
In the pattern I include instructions for how to make sure there are no holes between the fingers - this can be a frustrating problem when making gloves!
I was very excited to see this years project bag - it has been designed by Felicity Ford AKA Knitsonik and she has done an amazing job!  Felicity was patron of Shetland Wool Week two years ago and will be teaching classes again this year with a Shetland Theme.
For those of you who aren't going to be able to make it to Shetland or to any of the events, I will be blogging as much as possible with photos, I plan to do something everyday but that might be optimistic!  To make sure you don't miss anything you can subscribe to my blog by signing up to receive blogposts by email, the box is on the right hand side.  Just make sure to confirm your subscription by clicking on the email you will be sent.  I will also post photos regularly to Instagram. 
Over on Instagram you can also join in with #shetlandfauxweek , the brainchild of Atelier Meg who visited from Australia last year, as well as that you can join in with a Baa-ble hat Knit Along (KAL) over on Ravelry.  This is being co-ordinated by Melody of and there are prizes!  Melody lives in Latvia where she is extremely passionate about yarn and textiles and takes beautiful photos.  If you haven't seen her work you should check out her website.
 I am so looking forward to spending the week immersed in yarn and woolly things and spending time with lots of friends, new and old.  I hope to see you there!
Swatches for my Fair Isle knitting classes