Gudrun Johnston & Mary Jane Mucklestone

One of the best things about working in the field of hand-knit design is that it really is an industry which abounds with good eggs. In my view, two of the very best eggs around are Gudrun Johnston and Mary-Jane Mucklestone: great friends, talented designers, and Shetland enthusiasts. Gudrun spent her early years in Shetland,… Read More

GlobalYell / Shetland Tweed Company

Shetland abounds with wonderful creative spaces, but surely one of the most inspiring has to be the charity that Andy Ross has established, nurtured, and developed in Yell. From its beginnings as an organisation focused on music and music teaching, GlobalYell expanded its focus a decade ago to textiles, and to weaving in particular. Over… Read More

Helen Robertson

If you’ve read my introduction to The Book of Haps then you’ll already have come across Helen Robertson – a Shetland artist and craftswoman whose work I deeply admire. Working with silver wire and other precious materials, Helen has developed a uniquely thoughtful aesthetic which celebrates, commemorates and reflects upon Shetland’s history and heritage –… Read More

Shetland Tannery

As part of our work researching and documenting Shetland Oo, this past August, Tom and I met Natalie Cairns-Ratter of the Shetland Tannery. I’d acquired several of Natalie’s beautiful sheepskins on earlier Shetland visits, and was intrigued to learn more about the tanning process, and how her company came about. Small-scale tanning was previously a… Read More

Ninian

Next week (all being well at the printers) we are hoping to release our new Shetland Oo book! For those who don’t know, this is not a book of patterns, but a documentary project in words and photographs exploring the world of Shetland wool. Tom travelled all over Shetland meeting and photographing Shetlanders who work… Read More

sprint finish

It has been something of a hectic week here. Tom and I have had our heads down completing our new book, which, all being well, will go to the printers next week. The title we’ve settled on is Shetland Oo: Wool, Textiles Work, and those of you who were keen on the idea of a… Read More

our current projects

Thanks so much for your feedback on yesterday’s poll! I found the results really interesting and illuminating, but also somewhat troubling, as I wasn’t completely sure that all respondents had a full sense of what Shetland Oo is actually about. We are currently working on two projects. The first, Shetland Oo, marks an interesting departure for us as… Read More

Home and away

It’s been an interesting (and busy) couple of weeks. Tom has been travelling around Shetland, finalising the photography for our new book, and I’ve been here, at home, working. Without Tom, I’ve a tendency to go a bit feral. I eat whatever happens to be in the cupboard, I leave things lying around with no… Read More

Lives in oo

So this is the new project we are working on which has (until today) been very much under wraps! It has been on our minds for some time now for Tom to pursue a project exploring the documentary photography he particularly enjoys. . . and what better subject than a place we dearly love, and… Read More

hap stretcher tutorial

As you know, I photographed my Moder Dy design on a beautiful vintage hap stretcher that I borrowed from my friend Anne Eunson. In Shetland, such stretchers have been used for well over a century to block haps and shawls ready for sale, as well as for their knitters’ own domestic use. (washing and dressing… Read More

Hapisk

There are so many things I admire about talented Hélène Magnusson, but perhaps most particularly her completely joined-up approach to sheep, wool, yarn production, textile history, and contemporary knitwear design. All these elements are to the fore in the very special hap Hélène has created for our collection, a Hapisk – whose name as well… Read More