NIFA – Shetland Part 1

The mist on Fair Isle lifted just enough to let us fly back to Tingwall for the final stage of our Adventure.  We are staying in the Valley Bed and Breakfast this time, not far from the airstrip.  It was recommended to me, and it is lovely!

But before we got here, we spent the day following fibre.

The first stop was the museum.  Anita and Nick hadn’t been before, so had plenty to see.  There were a couple of new ‘drawers’  I hadn’t seen, two of particular interest.  The first was three old and darned gloves:

The second was two pairs of socks, both the same pattern, but one with incredibly fine yarn and the other with a much thicker wool:

Next stop was J&S.  There were quite a few folk in the shop, but Anita was able to get a couple of  patterns for a friends and I was able to get the 6 balls of yarn I wanted.  We had a look round and will be going back on Monday morning for a closer look.

Then it was off over the hills to the west to Sandness and the Jamieson’s mill.  As ever everything was very laid back over there, and I gave Anita and Nick the conducted tour – I have heard Gary do it so often I know a lot of it by heart!  It was interesting to compare the size of their equipment and carding lines with what we had seen the week before on North Ronaldsay!  We spent some time in the shop (of course!) and both came away with a bag…!

On the hills there were plenty of sheep – this one had particularly nice legs:

Then back to the museum for an evening meal in the restaurant – salmon for Anita and muscles for Nick and I:

There is no way to eat muscles politely, but finger bowls were provided.

The next day was a trip up to Unst.  The day dawned dull and drear!  But we set off in hope.  Peter, our host, had mentioned that he had seen otters while waiting for the ferry to Yell, and to be sure to look for them on the left of the pier.  We looked but were out of luck.  Then we looked right – and there, playing in the water, were three!!  They were really too far out for my little camera, but here are two (ringed):

And  cropping closer:

As always, the best shots were when I wasn’t looking through the camera, but it was lovely to watch them for about 10 minutes before boarding the ferry.

As those of you who have been to Unst recently know, as soon as you drive off the ferry there is a large painted billboard with a boat xylaphone in front, and this has become the place where I always take a group photo!  Nick and Anita spent time (in the rain) getting tunes out of it:

The next stop going north is the Unst bus shelter.  Over the past ten years or so this has become a tourist attraction, with the decorations changing every year.  This year the theme is the Tall Ships Race, which calls in to Lerwick later this month.  The colours of the Shetland flag, blue and white, are also well represented:

Then it was up north to the Unst Boat Haven in Haroldswick.  This is a big shed full of small boats and lots of artifacts and photos of things to do with the sea.  Every year there is something new to see and learn.

On our way to the Heritage Centre, we HAD to stop at Foords chocolate factory.  I mean, it wouldn’t have been polite not to have popped in to see Carrie and Aaron.  The superb chocolate has nothing to do with it…

And so to the Heritage Centre.  Again the lace display had changed a bit since last year, with another couple of shawls on show.  We spent quite a bit of time looking and photographing and reading.

On the way back to our B&B we stopped off for supper at Frankie’s fish and chip shop in Brae.  We had intended to sit in, but it was full, so we had a carry oot instead.  A delicious end to the trip. (Why is this all about food???)

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5 thoughts on “NIFA – Shetland Part 1

  1. I’ve just found your blog and am swooning at the socks … thanks SO much for posting the photos. A real treat, not to mention the educational value, of being able to see them, even in a photo.

  2. About 30 years ago I spent a summer on Shetland doing research – your blog is bringing back so many happy memories! I would love to go back – but my Swiss husband remains to be convinced! One day I will though. I just loved it – and the whole time I was there it never rained – a totally amazing summer 1984 I guess it must have been!

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