Papay 4 Yarn!

After my two nights on Eday, I went over to another of the Northern Isles, Papa Westray, or Papay.  This is the place I go for a rest – staying with Jim and Morag Hewitson in School Place is a complete tonic.  Good food, good crack – what more could you want?  Yarn?  Yep, Papay has yarn too!

As always my first trip out was to the Post Office.  Because it isn’t only a Post Office, but a yarn shop too.  It is run by Margit and she makes socks and scarves to sell in the shop.  So she has yarn.  So she sells yarn….  And as she loves nice yarn, she buys and sells nice yarn, so I have to buy nice yarn…

My first visit is always to look.  That gives me time to go away and think about what I will buy.  Last time I was there we talked about the new Manos lace weight, and I was eager to see what colours Margit had decided on.

That first afternoon we spent a good while going right through her stock.  I was also needing sock yarn for the evening class I am teaching here on Flotta this winter, so we had to look at everything – all the new colours, and several types I had heard of but not seen.  I then went on down to the old pier and just sat, watching the seals and the birds and thinking.  Before too long, one of the creel boats which works from the island came in…

The next morning I did my work – I went up to Holland, the big farm on the top of the ridge where one building has been made over to a small museum looked after by Jocelyn Rendall, wife of the current Rendall of Holland.  Every year there is something new, and this year there were several old garments, including a lovely crocheted collar.  Just outside the building is the old slurry pit, which they have made into a lovely sunken garden with a pond:

After lunch it was time to go back to see Margit, this time with my purse!  This is part of my haul…

… and this is it on my bed:

One thing I bought was several balls of Schoppel Wolle Zauberball 6 ply.  It has very long colour changes and is ‘meant’ for long socks.  But I got one ball for a hat and fingerless gloves for me to match my teal sweater and shoes.  Which are now finished:

The hat can either be worn as a beret, or pulled down over the ears to the eyebrows.

You will be hearing about some of the things I got over the winter.  But as usual, I can’t say too much now….!


12 thoughts on “Papay 4 Yarn!

  1. Oooh – scrumptious!
    It amazes me that a tiny island with a small population can have a yarn shop with a wider selection than either of the yarn shops in the city I live in. I know the climate is different but even Australians need decent woollen socks!

    1. I found them in a charity shop in Lerwick, along with some mitten blockers. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I have been in every time since but not seen any more…


  2. I wish I had a post office here with wool for sale:)) all we have is a shop that stocks up on acrylics – in baby colours:(( well, no wonder I became a spinner – I had to:))
    the colours of your hat/mittens are gorgeous – I think I am going to try to make a blocker like that out of plywood myself… is the thumb tied to it? or is it glued fixed into place???

    1. The thumb is free – just a piece of wood about 6 ins long with both ends curved. That way you can use it with different shapes gloves – if the thumb is done by adding waste yarn in the round it is in a different place when blocking to when it is done with a gusset (either 2 hands the same, or, as here, left and right).

      They are certainly useful… They, along with my sock blockers, all hang on my bathroom wall!


  3. Looks like a wonderful PO and a beautiful selection of yarns and colours.
    I love the cloche beret – do you sell the pattern for it? I have just looked on Ravelry but can’t seem to find it…..

  4. Hi I wanted to ask Jim Hewitson about an article in his book An excerpt from “Far Off in Sunlit Places Stories of the Scots in Australia and New Zealand” – referring to the McMaster Family c1837-38 and whose sheep dogs were tossed overboard and the children jumped in and sawm the dogs to store…. I would love to know where he found that anecdote or family recollection.

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