I was going to say my flying visit to J&S but as I went by boat…
I had a variety of things to do and people to see at J&S (aka Shetland Wool Brokers, Jamieson and Smith) so decided that going up there was better than lots of emails and phone calls. A couple of times a week there is a boat which goes from Aberdeen to Lerwick via Orkney. It gets in to Kirkwall about 11 pm and leaves just before midnight on a Sunday, and then returns leaving at 5 pm on the Monday.
So on Sunday night I kept myself awake long enough to get to the boat! I was too late booking to get a cabin, so just had a recliner seat overnight. These are very comfy, and the rocking motion of the boat meant that I was able to sleep a fair bit. I did wake at 3.50 am to find myself looking out on the Fair Isle South Light, with Malcolm’s Head looming over it. We passed to the north of the island, so the views were different from the usual ones. It was broad daylight by then (it started to get light about 01.15).
The boat gets in at 7.30 am, but you can stay on board until 9.30. I went and had a coffee (watching a seal from the café window) before leaving at about 8. I then walked along to the Co-op for breakfast and another coffee before making my way up the side of the hill to the Wool Brokers – those who know the place know how close together these places are – so convenient!!
Although I had been involved with planning the post-Knit Camp Shetland trip from the beginning, it was Connie who had done all the work on the ground, and we spent the morning sorting out where we were. June, in the office, was also involved, and between phone calls we went though everything working out exactly who was going to do what. I have come back with a sheaf of papers and phone numbers! June happened to have a shawl she had just completed in her bag:
After that I spent some time with Oliver, again sorting out bits and pieces about Knit Camp etc. I passed on copies of the comments people had made about their break in, and he was grateful for the support. He showed me the damage – mindless stuff – the sort of thing that takes an awful lot of time and money to put right.
After lunch Connie and I went to see inside the Queens Hotel, where we are staying. I had passed the door a hundred times, but had never been in. It is very nice in there, and the rooms are lovely – most of them overlook the sea with views across to Bressay. It happened that the boat we are using for the Noss trip was in the harbour, so I took a pic, despite the rain…
In the afternoon I spent time in the shop area with Sandra (who is in charge of the shop and mail order) and Louise, the school leaver working in the shop for the summer before going off to University in September. It was her first day and she was learning the till, the system etc. The place had a fair few boxes of stuff being filled ready for Knit Camp, with loads of goodies, but I took some pix anyway. Anyone who has been there before will see how much bigger the whole place is. The table and chairs are now towards the back, along with a lovely squashy sofa. I once made the mistake of sitting there and nearly fell asleep….!
I also managed to get a pic of the four people who you may come across on the phone:
One other thing I was able to do was sort out my yarn for Knit Camp. J&S are sponsoring all my classes, so I needed yarn for the two Fair Isle days, the lace design and the triangular shawls mornings. The lace class yarn is going straight down, but I brought home the yarn for the Fair Isle to sort out into packs of my students before I go.
J&S are the major sponsor of Knit Camp, and Sandra will be at Stirling all week manning the stall. Oliver comes down on the Wednesday – if you will be in Stirling you MUST make time to come and see them and to hear their Shetland dialect! And to buy fibre of course. They will be bringing tops as well as yarn, but if there is anything you specifically want, it would be worth contacting them beforehand so that they can make sure it comes.