NIFA – Fair Isle part 1

This is the last NIFA trip to Fair Isle, and, unlike the first, there were no difficulties getting here!!  Everything worked like clockwork, and we had beautiful sun for the flights from North Ronaldsay to Kirkwall, Kirkwall to Shetland and Mainland Shetland to Fair Isle.

The plane out to Fair Isle from Tingwall, near Lerwick, is also an Islander, like the Orkney Inter Island flights.

This time I was seated in frontof Anita and Nicholas – the knitting is the shoulder of my jacket!

Fair Isle is a spectacular piece of rock 25 miles from the nearest land.  The north end is hilly, with an extreme coastline:

Note the pale gravel of the air strip on the left!

Kathy Coull, our host for the few days we are here, met us at the air strip and took us the couple of miles to her croft.  Like the others, it is in the south of the island where the land is more fertile and lower.  Kathy is a spinner and knitter, and her studio is part of the new Shetland craft trail – the ‘sign’ outside her house is this:

My bedroom overlooks Malcom’s Head in the west, and the sunset was beautiful…

… and morning brought sheep to the field outside my window.

Tuesday brought a cloudier day, but it did not stop us being out and about.  Kathy took us to see Florie Stout, the person in charge of storing and selling the knitted items made by Fair Isle Crafts, the co-operative who hand frame ‘fairisle’ garments on Fair Isle.  One lovely slipover fitted Nick perfectly, so that is going home with him, along with a couple of hats!

Later Kathy took us in the car up the North Hill to the North lighthouse, here with Nick to show the scale:

Just outside the lighthouse buildings there were several puffins holding a committee meeting.  They took no notice of us…

Then it was down to the South light and back to the croft, being ably guarded in our absence by Kathy’s dog, Rufus.

In the afternoon the ferry to Mainland Shetland, the Good Shepherd, came back in.  It is always nice to see her round the breakwater and come safe into harbour..

Our final destination of the day was the kirk.  Fair Isle has both a Church of Scotland kirk and a Methodist chapel.  The joint congregation meets in one building one week and the other the next.  The kirk has two beautiful modern stain glass windows at the front, and two lovely etched glass window panels at the back.

An addition since my last visit is a new lecturn, with a cut out of a Fair Isle yole (boat) on the front…


4 thoughts on “NIFA – Fair Isle part 1

  1. it’s so wonderful to keep up with your knitting tours….almost can smell the air…the pictures are really great for conveying the sense of place. Danielle

  2. I would so love to be in your world about now. Cool, fresh, invigorating, crammed-to-the-gills-with-craft. My world is hot, arid, and dehydrating until next October. Regardless, I pore over the knitters’ blogs and strand that Shetland Wool into Fair Isle fabric. I just love your blog. Thank you !

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