On to Papay

Papay, or Papa Westray to give it its full title, is a smaller island to the north of Westray. It is an island I love, so of course we had to go on there for a couple of days to recover from the teaching! Once more travel between islands was by plane, this time on the shortest scheduled flight in the world – 2 minutes in the air!

Looking to Westray airstrip from Papay
Looking to Westray airstrip from Papay

One of the main attractions of Papay is Margit’s yarn shop! It is really part of the Post Office, but it is where she keeps her yarn and yarn for sale. Margit herself knits socks for sale, and there is a map showing all the countries where her socks have gone to.

PhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeThe space, an old croft house, is full of yarn – lots of different sock yarns, but also many of the Manos yarns and others.

PhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizeIt is the kind of space which invites you to delve into the boxes!! There are all sorts of yarns in loads of different colours: solid sock yarn, short repeat colour changes, long repeat colour changes, subtle yarns, bright yarns – you name it, it is there!!

PhotoELF Edits:2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeI save up my pocket money all year for my trip to Papay! This year there were new Manos yarns as well as my old favourite, the Manos lace weight. I was buying for samples for the book on Orkney knitwear, and as ever, seeing so many lovely yarns got my creative juices going!!

10 yarnPhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeMonday’s trip to the shop was for looking. Tuesday’s trip was for buying. Between the two I had written a list of what I wanted – I find that if I don’t do this I forget things! The Orkney book is going to have three rough colour stories, one of which is bright primary colours, so I HAD to have some bright yarns. There were also some gorgeous pink/green/purple sock yarns I HAD to have for ME!!

Part of my haul...!
Part of my haul…!

We also got to see a bit of the island. We were staying at Beltane House, a self catering set of rooms and a hostel in a row of old houses. They were built for the ‘farm servants’ a couple of Centuries ago, and they have been beautifully converted. The end one is the island shop – incredibly well stocked for the size of the island.

PhotoELF Edits:2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeJen, who runs the hostel, very kindly took us a trip up the island and along to St Boniface Kirk on the east coast.

PhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- gamma; resizeThen along to the Bothy Museum, part of the main farm on the island, which still has buildings in use from the Nineteenth Century.

PhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeThe other place we walked to was the old pier. This is a place I love – very peaceful and evocative. It used to be where the steamer came in from Westray. Now it is used by fishing boats and pleasure craft. The view over to the Holm, where the Neolithic inhabitants of Papay buried their dead, is a soothing one.

PhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2015:03:04 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resize

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10 thoughts on “On to Papay

  1. I love your beautiful pics. How do I order a pair of socks? I would love to visit someday but don’t kno when that will be.

    1. Dear Dawn, Elisabeth is right. I’m not really online. But if you want to order a pair of socks, give me ring 01857 644275. But I’m afraid there is a waiting list. all the best
      Margit

  2. I just showed my father these – his ancestors came from Caithness – and he said, “It isn’t raining!” He was fascinated by the Bothy museum.

  3. As usual, you blow me away with the lovely scenery. I would so love to visit your island and see all these wonderful sites. I would also like to knit socks half as good as the picture.

    In the wintery United States, we are having another snowy day – another 8 inches coming down on top of ice that came last night. We are all gasping for a breath of Spring. At least I can be thankful that I don’t live in Boston!!

  4. Elizabeth: I hope some day you organize a tour of the Orkneys for folks like us from across the Pond and others. We could hit the fiber highlights (North Ronaldsay would be a must for me) as well as the neolithic and other historic highlights. It could be organized as a knit-along. We start with a lovely lace scarf or shawl pattern, and we work our way through that as we travel around your beautiful islands.

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