I can’t remember exactly how many years I have been visiting Shetland in May. It is the ideal time to do my research for that year’s trips. The venues are all open and I can see what displays have come and gone, and so decide which places should have the highest priority!
For the second year I am here with Steve and Nigel and we are staying up at the Decca Station as it is known locally. This used to be a radio relay station, but it has been turned into lovely self catering units by Steve and Gillian Henry. What is there not to like about a place that has a Fair Isle sock on a board hanging on the wall???
On Tuesday I spent the afternoon at J&S, mainly with Sarah. When I arrived, there were various customers in the shop so I had a chance to have a good nose round!!
I loved these cushions, hand woven locally using J&S wool for the weft…
… and this cushion…
… and loved the way they used a woolly board to display some of the chunky wool. (And see the balls of tops behind..)
Not until I got back did I realise I didn’t have a pic of the front of Sarah, so her back view as she helps a customer will have to do!!
Sarah and I had quite a bit to sort out – details of this and that – watch this space!!
Yesterday morning we did various bits in town and on the way back ‘home’, we stopped off at the Bod of Gremista. This is the present home of the Shetland Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, and they often have folk sitting spinning. It is also a general meeting place of members, and purely by chance I was able to catch up with some old friends:
In the afternoon I went down to Hoswick to visit an old friend, Niela of Nielanell.
I first met Niela several years ago when she was on the Shetland College textile design course with a friend of mine. She spins the most amazing art yarns and designs fabulous machine knits, making the most of the things a hand-manipulated knitting machine can do which hand knitters and totally electronic machines can’t.
Her colours are always vibrant and there was a lovely little cape with my name on it – like the red one in the top pic. The way the tucking has been done, it looks lime green from some angles and turquoise from others. It is stunning. And very warm – I am wearing it now…