Now that my health doesn’t let me travel much, I am only teaching in Orkney. One invitation I could not turn down was to teach a weekend on the Orkney island of Papa Westray, known locally as Papay.
Papay is one of the northernmost isles of the Orkney group. It is a place I have been to often, and a place I love. It is a peaceful island, with very friendly people, interesting archaeology and beautiful sandy beaches. Oh – and it has its own wool shop!
So I am teaching a weekend of workshops on the theme of Orkney knitting. Here is the poster with the details:
There are more details, and a chance to ask questions, over on Facebook here.
Papay is easy to get to once you are in Orkney. It is served by the Islander aircraft – small, eight-seater planes, which act like a bus service! The return flight from Kirkwall to Papay costs £21 if you are staying overnight. If you book on the right one, you might even get to travel the world’s shortest time-tabled flight between Papay and Westray! Just 2 minutes. Details of the timetables are here (at the bottom of the page), along with details of how to book.
As for accommodation, Papay has a ‘hostel’ in what was once a line of farm workers’ cottages. The rooms are very well appointed, and there are two well-equipped kitchens. The island shop is also part of the same complex, and it has everything you might need, including both ready meals and local produce should you want to cook ‘properly’. More details, including how to book the hostel, here.
So what will we be doing in the workshops?
In the Orkney Lace workshop, after seeing some old photos of Orkney lace and talking about its relationship to the Shetland tradition – and others – we will first check that folk comprehend charts, and then we will be knitting a bookmark (or two) using common Orkney lace patterns.
In the Orkney Fairisle class we will again start with looking at some examples, and talk about the connections with the Fair Isle itself before making a small pouch (or the first of a pair of wristwarmers).
The project for the gansey class is a pin cushion using Orkney gansey patterns. Again we will look at old photos and talk a bit about the herring industry in Orkney before starting on the project.
In each workshop, yarn will be provided and students will take home patterns for various items including socks (lace), a hat (colour work) and a cowl (ganseys). There will be an opportunity to visit the Papay wool shop to choose yarns for further projects, so if coming by air, make sure you bring and extra bag, and leave room in your 15 kg luggage allowance for taking yarn back!
It is going to be a wonderful weekend, and I look forward to seeing you there!