Monday, 7 October 2013

Shetland Wool Week 1

I left Orkney in the rain last night and it seems I brought the rain to Shetland with me - yes, you can just make out the sheep on the hill where I'm staying.  They don't seem overly concerned about the rain though - they have thick wool fleeces to protect them.

I've arrived in a Lerwick that seems to embrace Wool Week even more each year.  You don't have to walk far to find a shop window featuring Shetland wool and Shetland knitting.

It brings a wonderful atmosphere to Lerwick - even in the rain!

Before I did anything else this morning though I headed straight for Jamieson & Smith, where I was the first one through the door.  I think they were half expecting me and were probably getting out the black bags ready.  Yes, it was straight down the stairs to every handspinners dream room - Oliver Henry's fine fleece store.  The room soon filled with other spinners keen to find that special fleece, or two, or more.....  Oliver joined us and we were soon hearing fascinating information from him about Shetland sheep and fleece.  This is a post by Oliver for Wovember and gives you an insight into his vast knowledge, experience and passion for Shetland wool.

This is a little glimpse into the fleece store - before we all started finding our special fleeces .

I am going to decline to say how many may have called to me and are now in the boot of the car - yes, there is a good reason why I endure the crossing to Shetland by ferry.

Then a quick dash upstairs to wash my hands and join Hazel Tindall for her workshop on knitting with colour.  Hazel is described as one of Shetland's finest knitting teachers, and I can now certainly agree with that.  As is usual with Shetland Wool Week workshops, all materials are provided which makes it very easy for all the overseas visitors who fly into Shetland.

I may now have conquered my aversion to knitting with double-pointed needles, having learnt from Hazel how to overcome my 'issues'.  It's certainly quicker to knit small diameters in the round on dpns than my usual method of 2 circular needles.

I celebrated my new skills by treating myself to a browse through the basket of Shetland Knitting Belts on the counter - all in the most fabulous colours ever!  I was totally spoilt for choice, but in the end chose a bright purple with pink stitching.

We knitted wrist bands, choosing our own colours - yes, just look at the walls of yarn in the background - and were inspired by seeing all the beautiful samples of Fair Isle knitting that Hazel had brought with her.  I was thrilled to actually finish one of the pair just in the morning class.

After the class another wander round Lerwick and into the now open shops, including Shetland Organics with their usual lovely display of Shetland wool and knitting.

Tonight there is the opening ceremony to look forward to, and lots of catching up with friends, including meeting Ravelry friends in person for the first time.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way the colors of your your wrist band complement your knitting belt!