The Fine Art of Fair Isle Knitting

You will have heard me mention distinguished Shetland designer, Hazel Tindall, many times on this blog. I first met Hazel three years ago, when I was lucky enough to take a workshop with her during Shetland Wool Week. Over the course of the class, Hazel shared her knitterly tips and techniques, talked us through some… Read More

Shetland Textiles: 800 BC to the Present

Writing of the worn and mended Fair Isle sweater that Shetland knitter, Doris Hunter created for her fiancé, Ralph Patterson, who spent four years in a Japanese POW camp during the Second World War, editor Sarah Laurenson states: “Ralph’s sweater is much more than a physical object. It is a site of personal and political… Read More

Sixareen Cape

While we were in the Highlands, we took the opportunity to photograph a design I’ve had ready for a while: the Sixareen Cape. I started knitting this Fair Isle wrap last October. You may remember that at that time I’d just designed a hat especially for Shetland wool week (The Sixareen Kep) using Jamieson and… Read More

thinking time

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. But I was there to work — I have a couple of writing commissions in the pipeline, one of which involves producing… Read More

Ursula Cardigan

Its time to show you another design, from the next of my Shetland ‘colour stories’. This is the Ursula Cardigan. This design is named for writer and naturalist, Ursula Venables, who lived and worked in Shetland during the 1940s and ’50s. (You can read more about her in my book.) Ursula’s writing about wildflowers, as… Read More

rams and yowes

Hmmm . . . do I spy . . . some sheep? . . . . many sheep? . . . and many rams? 120 yowes and 48 rams?!! Yes! It’s the rams and yowes lap blanket! In case you were wondering, yowe means ewe in Shetland dialect and, just like the sheepheid design from… Read More

I want to bob my hair . . .

Stanley Cursiter The Fair Isle Jumper (1923) Edinburgh City Art Centre . . . just to wear this hat. I have 1920s accessories on the brain at the moment – we watched Anthony Asquith’s brilliant A Cottage on Dartmoor a few days ago, in which, between manicures, Norah Baring was sporting some fantastic hats in… Read More

wwwwo #1

I’ve written up the pattern for this wee headband — item #1 in wazz’s woollen winter walking outfit (wwwwo for short). The pattern is very simple — just a single large star repeat — certainly suitable as a first colourwork project for those who’ve not tried the technique before. You’ll need springy fingering-weight yarn in… Read More

paper dolls

I’m glad the early mornings are becoming lighter, otherwise I (or rather, Tom) wouldn’t have been able to take these speedily snapped shots of my new sweater. Spring is definitely on its way . . . Did I mention that, undoubted tweeness notwithstanding, I heart this sweater? I love the velvety braf yarn (particularly the… Read More