NIFA Shetland – Part 2

Sunday was again dull and a bit drizzly, but we were not put off, and the weather did improve over the day.  Today we went south, with the first stop being the Clikimin broch.  This is in Lerwick, on an islet in Clikimin Loch, joined to the shore by a causeway.  There are several rings of defensive walls with the broch tower in the centre.  The entrance to the tower is very long and low – there are times when being short is an advantage!  The tower would have been three or four storeys high, and roofed with wood

We carried on down the main road to Sumburgh, branching off every now and then to make textile visits!  The first was to Barbara Isbister, a machine knitter who has an amazing colour sense.  I had hoped for a waistcoat for my father, but she only had a female one in stock.  So my father’s was ordered – and I bought the one in the shop!!

Next stop was to Neila’s shop, where I had bought the capes in May.  She persuaded me to try on one of her ‘upside down’ jackets – and so my only problem was to choose which colour.  Neila is great with colour, and I was surprised when she passed me a coral and khaki one – not my colours AT ALL!!  But she was right!  And I had to buy a pin to close it, didn’t I?  I wasn’t the only one buying…

We had lunch at the Hoswick Heritage Centre.  This has less knitting than before, but still have some interesting pieces.

Then it was on to the Croft House Museum.

This is set up as it would have been in about 1800, with all the tools and the furniture that would have been there.  There was a hap shawl ‘drying’ on a stretcher, and baskets, or kishies, of wool.  There were also files of photos from the later part of the Nineteenth Century showing life in the fields and croft.

And outside there were a couple of Shetland pony mares and foals.  The only problem was that they kept following me round the fence..!!

Our final visit was to Doreen Brown.  Doreen is an Orcadian who has lived in Shetland for many years.  She is someone else who has a brilliant sense of colour and pattern while working within the traditional medium.  She was apologising for having so little stock – several tours this past week had almost cleared her out!!  But she spent time showing Anita how a computer can help in design, and we had a lovely time with her (as always!).

Our meal tonight was at the Queens.  Very good!  And coming out I finally remembered to take a pic of this sign just along the road:

Our final day was an easy one.  Up and out for 9.30 and straight to J&S – well, we did stop for Nick to buy a paper so that he could do the crossword while we were shopping.  Anita wanted to select a range of colours for swatching for eventual use in knitting Nick a Fair Isle sweater, and I wanted a range of pinks and reds as my J&S colours are lacking in that area.  As ever, Sandra was brilliant at helping out, suggesting colour combinations and tweaking ideas.  She also bagged everything up.

I admired a cape for its lovely, subtle shading – and it was Sandra’s design!

After visiting a selection of Lerwick shops, we made our way over to Nesting to see Margaret Peterson.  We were a bit early, so we drove on out to the point and were rewarded with lovely views out to small offshore islands:

Then back to spend the afternoon with Margaret.  She is such a good teacher and encourages her pupils, stretching them at the same time.  She and I have similar views about teaching knitting, and it was funny how often she said the same things as I had been saying to Anita – often in the same words!  I have learnt so much from her over the years…

For our final meal together we went over to the waterfront at Scalloway….

… to the Scalloway Hotel.

It was the first time I had been there, and I hope it won’t be the last.  The food was truly delicious – fabulous fresh Shetland fare.

So now the goodbyes have been said.  Nick and Anita leave before 6 am to drive down to catch their flight to Aberdeen and beyond, while I have a slightly more leisurely start, going to J&S to sort some stuff with Sarah and Oliver before taking the afternoon plane to Kirkwall.  I stay a night on South Ronaldsay to pick up my dog, then home on Wednesday to start the final planning for the final NIFA trip in October!

15 thoughts on “NIFA Shetland – Part 2

  1. Thank you again! Hello to Sandra and Oliver. I wanted to visit with them more in Stirling last August, but at least I got to know who they are. The bit of Shetland wool in Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook on page 190 upper left (and the lock adjacent) were wool Oliver handed me as a sample after the talk the two of you presented. I flew back directly to the photo shoot, so I spun that tiny bit on the spindle I had with me just as we were setting up the photos. I was so glad to have it.

  2. I very much am enjoying glimpses into these wonderful places. Thank you for posting them so artfully and informatively. To be followed around by fluffy little ponies, to spend a while in J & S and see those walls of yarn, to see the ancient rock architecture…and that vest !!! It’ s all just so lovely. Thank you.

  3. Final NIFA? The last one ever or just the last one this year? I do hope it’s only for this year. I had plans…..

    1. Final NIFA for ever and ever, Amen. No, I will not change my mind!! The spirit may be willing but the body can’t cope – my doctor thinks I gave up three years ago…!!

      Liz – finally home after one ferry broke down…

  4. What a lovely series of posts, thank you… I was in Shetland on a knitting pilgrimage in early June, and I wanna go back now (screams like toddler).

    I bought a scarf from Niela – we were staying nearby in Leebitton – in green and turquoise; I love it. Hope you enjoy your jacket!

  5. I do so enjoy reading your blog and seeing your adventures in the islands. I really like the lace photo above, do you know what the pattern of that main part is called?

    1. Hi Kerry – no – the pattern is not a ‘usual’ Shetland one, although it is related to one sometimes called ‘flowers of the field’. The shawl is also unusual in that the centre is knitted on the diagonal, from one corner, getting wider, then down to the opposite corner. Liz

  6. How do we find out more about the NIFA trip? Is it full? I had gotten behind on my knitting blogs and just ran across this. I feel like I have followed you Liz for years…thru Colourmart, then I find you have a blog! (Thanks Ravelry.) I have so enjoyed your pictures and write up about your trip. The lace has me lusting to get my sweater done and get one of your designs back on the needles with some cobweb weight yarn. Thank you from the bottom of my soul for sharing your trip with us. Happy Knitting everyone!

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