Shetland Wool Week 2016

I can’t believe it is over a week since I taught my last class during Shetland Wool Week.  It was an extremely busy week and it seems to have taken a bit of time to get back to normal – I only unpacked the suitcase I carried my samples and books in this afternoon!

img_3047Some of the merchandise from this year – a notebook and tea towel with a sheep design by Natty Maid and my Sanik Shawl (the pattern is in the Shetland Wool Week Annual Volume 2)

I have very few photos of the week itself – was teaching every day and kept forgetting to take my camera with me (so many other things to think about!).

img_3012Hard at work during the Mug Cosy class

My classes included a Mug Cosy, where knitting in the round with two colours and steeking were two of the things covered, traditional Shetland haps and Shades of Shetland where we used the colours from a photo of the South lighthouse in Fair Isle to knit a Fair Isle swatch.  I enjoyed doing two full day classes together with Joanna Hunter Coe of Joanna Hunter Knitwear and Ninian; in the morning Joanna guided the class participants through creating mood boards and choosing colours which in the afternoon they used to knit a Fair Isle swatch.  We were all even treated to Joanna’s tattie soup (a traditional Shetland potato and vegetable soup made on salt beef) and bannocks made by Mabel (Joanna’s Mum)!

img_0502Finished Mug Cosy

img_3028A swatch inspired by a photo of the South Lighthouse in Fair Isle in the Shades of Shetland class.

Since I was teaching more of less full-time and still had day to day things to do at home, I didn’t experience many of the amazing events going on.  I did make it to Ella Gordon‘s talk on Monday evening though (in case you don’t know Ella was patron of Shetland Wool Week this year and designed the Crofthoose hat we have seen all over Shetland last week).  Ella was speaking about being a knitter in Shetland.  She spoke about her inspirations and touched on many important subjects affecting the textile industry in Shetland at the moment such as large companies using the concept of Shetland to promote their own mass produced garments.  She discusses this in her blogpost here.

I also made it to the Baltic knitting night at the museum on the Thursday evening, Outi Kater was speaking about the inspiration for her work.  She grew up in Finland and now lives in Shetland and although her work clearly reflects her origin, Shetland features strongly too.

DSC02325.JPGThis is Outi’s pattern, Polar Star mittens I made last year.

You can see Outi speaking about her work and inspiration on the Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 14 (the same one I am on!).

We were also treated to a talk by Kristi Joeste who is from Estonia and concentrates on knitting Estonian mittens and gloves, both in the traditional patterns and she creates new designs which are inspired by the traditional ones.  The samples she showed us were outstanding as well as very inspirational.  Kate Davies writes a great review of Kristi’s book  here.   I don’t have a copy yet, but it is certainly on my wish list.

I would like to thank Misa Hay and the staff of Promote Shetland for organising such an amazing event and also thank you to everyone who visited, came to classes and just showed an interest in the event – maybe see you next year!




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