What an amazing week I had in Shetland! It was a complete privilege to see and talk to so many amazing knitters, who generously shared their work and thoughts with me. Mary Kay, at the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, shows us an incredibly fine lace shawl, knitted in Unst around 1930. Joan… Read More

Shetland days

It is Wool Week in Shetland, and I began it in this cottage out at Vementry. What a spot! It was lovely to take some time out to visit my friend Hazel Tindall. I just love the part of Shetland where Hazel lives, and it was a real privilege to potter about her garden, and… Read More

Thinking of Shetland

It was this time of year when I first visited Shetland. How well I recall that crazy drive across Unst in a blizzard! The weird half-light at midday! My first feeling of the profound difference of the place, but my immediate sensation that it was somewhere I could easily feel at home. . . Anyway… Read More

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

Brilliant women

Hello! I’m back again after a fantastic (and productive) couple of weeks research. I’ve had an amazing time in Sweden and Shetland, but what has really stood out to me about this past fortnight is the number of brilliant women whose company and conversation I’ve enjoyed. It has been a very long time since I’ve… 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

a woolly wednesday. . .

As the weather grows more chilly, things are becoming very busy round here — in a good way. I have been knitting and designing and writing for weeks now, in advance of a few new Winter releases. In a few days I will be publishing the next design in my Edinburgh Series of garments (which… Read More

hat at Hermaness

I’ve had a lot of queries about Peerie Flooers over the past few days, so here are a couple more photos of the particular hat in question. After being approached by the wardrobe folk involved with Shetland, I knitted up this new sample especially for the production. I remember knitting it over the May bank… Read More

Shetland Wool Week in pictures, part 2

Mel at Aithsetter Mel and Hazel McKenzie, our Wool-Week landlady. Sandra and Ella at J&S (if you are wondering about their cardigans, there’s a free pattern here) Eric Stewart, showing us around the impressive textile facilitation unit at Shetland College Knitters from six nations enjoying a trip to Unst (yoohoo ladies! It was lovely to… Read More

an afternoon with Hazel Tindall

I think that the most enjoyable few hours knitting I’ve ever had was the afternoon I spent last Wednesday with Hazel Tindall at the Braewick Cafe. Since 2008, Hazel has held the title of the world’s fastest knitter, working an unbelievable 262 stitches in 3 minutes. She is also an incredibly talented designer – Jamieson… Read More

Shetland Wool Week

Huzzah for Shetland Wool Week! I have been enjoying: Spectacular landscapes in beautiful weather . . . (The Drongs from Braewick) . . .hanging out with my favourite woolly creatures (Shetland sheep at Lunna) . . .meeting inspiring people . . . (Hazel Tindall) (Mary-Jane Mucklestone) . . . good company . . . (Wool… Read More