thinking time

lerwick

Well, I had a fantastic time in Shetland. As I was on my own, I stayed in Lerwick. I really enjoyed meeting up with Shetland friends old and new, and pottering about toon.

commercialst

shutters

lodberrie

stoneandwater

But I was there to work — I have a couple of writing commissions in the pipeline, one of which involves producing a short history of Fair Isle knitting for a new (and very exciting) book about Shetland textiles. So I examined a lot of Fair Isle pieces, and I thought a lot about them.

fairislefromfairisle

I saw some truly incredible textiles . . .

checkerboard

. . . so many of which defied any idea of the ‘traditional’ in Fair Isle knitting.

silkandwool

(This striking allover features 4 shades of Shetland wool and 3 shades of artificial silk)

motifs
(Fair Isle motifs, but not Fair Isle knitting)

plaid
(Fair Isle or . . .Tartan?)

So much to think about.

me

puffins!

puffinpattern

So, I suspect it won’t be hard for you to guess what provided the inspiration for the last pair of designs in the collection . . .

Puffin-Portrait
©John Moncrief Photography

These two designs really were an awful lot of fun to work on . . .

puffin9
mantle1

For what is more fun than a puffin?

puffin-in-flight
©John Moncrief Photography

Um, garments inspired by puffins, that’s what!

puffin1
mantle3

Here we have a puffin sweater . . .

puffin8

. . . and a puffin mantle . . .

mantle7

Both of which feature the same six-shade garter stitch chevron pattern. . .

puffin6

. . . which echoes the colours and texture of the beaks of Shetland’s most beloved summer visitor.

puffinthrift
©John Moncrief Photography

In Colours of Shetland you’ll find several puffin-related treats . . .

puffin7
©John Moncrief Photography

Including talented Shetland photographer, John Moncrieff’s, fabulous puffin portraits . . .

puffin-sandeels
©John Moncrief Photography

. . . and an intriguing, puffin-related MAP that has been specifically designed to accompany my essay in the book. All will be revealed as you turn the pages . . .

puffin5

These designs are simple and fun and I love, love, love both of them. Pardon my hubris, but I have to mention that when I’ve worn the Puffin Sweater in Shetland, it is the design that has drawn most comment, from airport security staff who complemented me on my ‘blendin’, to local knitters and designers whose positive remarks really mean the world to me.

puffin4

The mantle incorporates further decreases into the pattern to create a neatly-fitting and dramatic-looking wrap.

mantle4

We shot the mantle photographs around Lerwick’s lodberries on a quiet, grey sort of day.

mantle5

But I love the way the bright colours of the chevron pattern stand out against the stone.

mantle2

Yarn and sizing information for the Puffin Sweater and Puffin Mantle can now be found on Ravelry.

puffpatt3

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