Greetings from Shetland!

Experiencing the terrible weather last weekend, I thought I wasn’t going to make it up here on Monday. In the end, the ferry was cancelled – but I had decided months ago to fly. Right decision!

Flying in to Shetland is always impressive. The airport is at the southern end of a long finger of land, and the main east/west runway goes right across the land into the sea on both sides. On Monday the easterly wind meant we came in from the west, over an angry sea with the waves crashing on the rocks below. The sun was out at the time, and the light was beautiful.

Katherine, my friend from Kentucky, arrived later that night, and yesterday we both spent knitting and getting over jet lag!! We got as far as walking down the street and finding that Fibres, a lovely yarn shop, is no longer there. A big disappointment. In addition, the other yarn shop, which was taken over a couple of years ago, has reduced its range right down. Another disappointment.

Today we picked up a hire car, and headed off to J&S. That shop, too, had changed. NOT a disappointment!! The whole of the left hand side is now all the undyed ‘stuff’, ranging from the carpets, through the blankets, to the Shetland Supreme yarn, and to the tops and fleece.

J&S naturals

The rest if the shop is pretty much as before – I just love the two walls of wooden cubby-holes full of yarn all colours of the rainbow.

J&S jumper weight

J&S lace weights

I was pretty good, considering! I only bought 2.5 kg tops And ONE ball of yarn – that the denim-y colour aran for swatching for a sweater….

Then we were off down to the Museum to meet Connie for lunch. The café is one of the best bits of the museum in my opinion – huge glass windows looking out over Hay’s Dock, one of the very old small boat docks, to the newer port beyond. Even on a day like today (RAIN!!) it is a gorgeous view. And their seafood chowder is delicious!!

at Hay's Dock
KY Katherine (left) and Connie Williamson (from J&S)

Now we are back in the flat, warm and dry. And I am putting off taking back a section of lace knitted in 2/28 cashmere…. My own stupid fault. But at least I have noticed it now, only 8 rows on, and not 8 ins back as is my usual habit.


14 thoughts on “Greetings from Shetland!

  1. Liz
    I was just coming to the forum to ask you a question regarding Shetland Shawls… How fitting that you are there.
    In the Shetland Shawl chapter of Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book she states that the Shetland Knitters bring their yarn forward over the needle rather than under to form a yarn over when knitting garter stitch. Have you found this to be so?
    Enjoy yourself

    1. I’m trying to mind knit to work out what I do… And to think what others do.. I ampretty sure most Shetlanders do it what I think of as the ‘normal’ way – ie, when knitting, the yarn is away from your body, with the needle between it and you. The yarn goes under the needle towards you then over the top away from you… That is the knit to knit way… If purling is involved you have other actions, which were often called by different names – yarn over; yarn forward; yarn round needle…

      I will ask around…!


      1. Thanks Liz
        I am referencing the maneuvers based on the knit to knit way that you describe ie under the needle from back to front in what I think of as a counterclockwise direction. According to MT it is from back to front over the needle then under again to the back (in a clockwise direction). The claim is that “it allows the new stitch to spring from an independent base, twin to neither neighbor, and so entirely free from any restriction”.
        I am not sure why that would make it different from the other, but I swatched it and it looks very tidy with nice round eyelets…
        Keep dry.

  2. Hello from California. What a great treat to find you the LYS a good CHANGE! Sounds a bit rocky flying into to Shetland, but it is a place I’d give my eye teeth to visit. Enjoy your stay and thanks for the post.

  3. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who makes mistakes and has to tink. I’m finally through one repeat of a cabled hat – after starting it FOUR times!

  4. Lovely seeing Katherine sitting there!
    Hi Katherine!
    I was also intrigued by the use of the feather, sokay, won’t tell!

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