Yes, I'm having a fantastic time and my head is brimming with new creative ideas and inspirations, but I'm going to have to sleep solidly for a week when I get back home - except I'll be up to my knees in cleaning out hen houses etc ;-)
For those who know about my growing livestock interests on the farm, yes, daily updates from Assistant Shepherd are that all are doing well, including the Boreray Boys, and the chicks seem to have finally got the hang of going up the ramp to roost safely tucked up under their broody mum. But he is leaving the mucking out to me when I get back and just adding clean straw when needed.
Now, back to things that don't require old clothes and wellingtons.
I started off Wednesday with Creative Art Yarns Spinning with Deborah Grey (ASF Shetland)
I had my trusty, well-travelled Sidekick with me, but couldn't resist the opportunity to try one of the Hamish Polson wheels. I felt enormously grateful to the Shetland Spinners who had lent their precious wheels for people in the class to use.
So, this was my colour blending - and I'm very pleased with the results. I believe colour-blending is one of the things that will be appearing in Deborah's new book, not yet released.
You can however see more photos from the event on the Shetland Wool Week fb page.
What Di had to say about her life and work was very personal and I felt privileged to have heard it. If you're not familiar with Di's work, then I urge you to look at her website and her blog. It would be hard to listen to Di speak and not be itching to pick up needles and just knit something totally creative. I knew that Di used some Scottish wool in her garments but I'd previously failed to realise how great her passion is for Scottish wool and promoting more processing of the local wool in Scotland. Most of her garments are made with Scottish or British wool and she is a wonderful international advocate for the special qualities of Scottish wool.
Felicity continued to inspire me and move me emotionally through her talk as she described the effect that working in Shetland and with Shetland archive recordings had had on her. This isn't going to be Felicity's last trip to Shetland I don't think!
If you're not familiar with Felicity's work, then this page has all the links you'll need. Felicity is also one of the people behind Wovember
One thing that came out of both talks for me was how powerful the sense of place was for the creativity of both Di and Felicity, and how in Shetland the hardships imposed by the environment have shaped the people. And of course, how intrinsic the Shetland sheep and their very special wool is to the Shetland of the past and the Shetland of the future.
Di told us about how wool processing/spinning operations in Scotland are taking on new young workers and expanding, which is such an exciting thing to be happening. Shetland Wool Week itself, as it attracts more and more people from the area and as far afield as Australia and everywhere in between, reflects the growing interest and appreciation of Shetland sheep and their wool. This is, of course, very exciting for me.