Finally the dust seems to be settling around our lives and our chosen path (which I'll tell you more about another time) but to help us separate the old from the new and to start work on some great new projects (again, more later) we travelled to Shetland for what was a wonderful week. We were invited by our friend Connie, from Jamieson & Smith, a shetland yarn company and spent a LOT of time looking at wool and knitting which was terribly hard work! However between those times we travelled around the island enjoying the dramatic scenery and long, long days. So, without further delay,
Welcome to Shetland
Below is the view from the cliff tops at Eshaness. A beautifully wild and rugged part of the island on the west coast looking out onto the atlantic ocean.
This is also where we saw our first puffin!
We actually stayed on a small island in the north sea immediately next to Lerwick on the Mainland, called Bressay (pronounced Bressa) and spent a lot of time at the far side of the island at a little cove called the Voe of Cullinsbrough (pronounced Cullinsbrock). Most days we were the only three people there and were able to share the view only with the sheep, seals and birds.
The water was stunningly clear but icy cold.
These are some of the ruined crofts scattered all around Shetland. These ones are on Bressay.
Gavin and Charlie enjoying the peace.
Here are some of the lovely Shetland sheep we shared the cove with.
These three were competing in the prettiest sheep competition but we couldn't choose a winner.
This croft in much better condition is in Burra on the West coast and was the temporary home of a local textiles exhibition. We were taken there by Connie's lovely Aunty Grace, who also showed me how to use a knitting belt and shared some of her knitting secrets!
This was an item in the exhibition that I was particularly intrigued by.
I have never come across these before. The cradles even have holes in the sides to thread the straps through. Aunty Grace thought that children learning to knit where often given these straps to make as their first knitting project. The 'baby' is wrapped in a traditional baby shawl knitted in undyed grey wool. Grace mentioned that baby shawls were often knitted in grey wool as they wouldn't show the dirt and soot.
Burra happens to be home to one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere.
Again on the Atlantic ocean, the sand was white and the sea was turquoise. Connie attempted to snap a rare family pose as the tide came in.
First attempt we got a little wet!
But more success on the second attempt.
To wind up blog post one on a yarny note, the sweater Charlie is wearing on these photos was a final piece I made for college many many years ago, which she dug out of the attic and fell in love with.
I remember being very proud of it at the time and can even remember my inspiration, which was some medieval mosaic tiling which had originally been red, blue and yellow and which had all faded to these muted browns and taupes. The waist shaping is all concealed in the aran pattern on the front of the sweater and the sweater also has sleeve and welt hems. It was knitted in Jonelle pure wool, which for those you not as old as me! was John Lewis' own yarn, which was absolutely lovely and very reasonably priced. They also used to do 'put away' and let you take a ball at a time, which for a poor student was brilliant. Those were the days!
I'm going to close this post with a picture of myself and Connie at Jamieson & Smith, where I'll start my next blog post.
but for now,