I’m now back in Inverness after teaching a weekend of Faeroese knitting for The Wool Shed, a yarn shop near Aberdeen. I had done one on Shetland knitting last September and it was lovely to see quite a few folk back again.
The weekend was organised by Barbara (left) who runs the Wool Shed with Anne. This time Barbara had arranged to be in the workshop both days as she had always wanted to know more about Faeroese shawls.
On Saturday we all worked on a mini shawl, either in lace weight or 4 ply/fingering Alba wool. Barbara brought along a basket of skeins and balls of each in a whole range of colours so that folk had plenty of choice. I found it interesting that almost everyone chose colours in the purple/pink/burgundy range…!
For several people it was the first time they had encountered charts. Most found them useful, and many worked from both the row-by-row instructions and the charts together. While they knitted I spoke bits about the Faro islands and its knitting past and present.
Some people finished their mini shawls on the Saturday evening, and on the Sunday they had the choice of continuing with a different mini shawl, or trying their hand at footlets, traditional knitted slippers that they still use in the house all through the year. It turned out that some folk had never done any colourwork, so I suggested they started with a hat using Faeroese patterns, and coloured in the Faeroese way (different to the Fair Isle patterns and way!). I had two different footlet patterns and samples with me, made in two different ways. I also had sheets of examples of Faeroese patterns so that folk could use different stitch patterns if they wished.
In the afternoon we has a visit from Marjun. She is Faeroese, and lives quite close to Archeolink, where the workshop was happening. I had had email contact with her back in the summer and she kindly brought in both some knitted pieces and her daughter and granddaughter! Her mother’s shawl was a lined one, and it was great to be able to show folk what these were like, as well as being able to catch up on some wool-related topics, like the fact that Navia yarns are now available in dyed colours as well as the naturals!
There is quite a bit of knitting in the footlets so no one finished one in the day. But all who tried them got past the tricky bits, and were well away to finish them at home. Several folk were muttering about Christmas presents….!
Of course after the workshop I had to visit the Wool Shed to stock up on yarn… Actually I went in on Saturday too, just to see what they had so that I had a chance overnight to work out what I couldn’t leave behind. I have some Manos Wool Clasica in a mix of caramels and some kid silk haze – I have never used it and want to see why folk like it so much…! Unlike last year, my train journeys worked well this time. I am presently sorting all my stuff ready to fly back home tonight: I think I can get it all in…