Excitement! Unable to wait for my copy to turn up in the post, I just popped up to John Lewis to pick up the new Rowan Magazine. Rowan (who will soon be bringing out a new laceweight yarn) wanted a substantial piece on the history of lace knitting and this is what I came up with. I have to say that, out of all the features I’ve researched and written for magazines over the past few years, I am most pleased with this one. Why so? Well, for a start, in contrast to many accounts of Shetland lace as ‘traditional’ knitting, I have what I think is an important argument to make about lace always being an innovatory textile produced in response to the demands of a commercial market and changing fashionable trends. Plus, researching this piece not only gave me an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable creative artistry of Shetlanders and Shetland, but meant that I actually got to go there. Through working on this piece, I met Sarah, Oliver and Sandra at Jamieson and Smith; Carol Christiansen at the Shetland Museum and Archives; the wonderful folk at the Unst Heritage Centre and superlative knitters like Ina Irvine and Mary Kay, who published the Shetland lace patterns that my grandma used to knit from Woman’s Weekly. I heart Shetland! I genuinely loved working on this feature, and in many ways, feel that it marks the beginning of an association that I know will be long-lasting. Perhaps I will see you up there during Shetland Wool Week.
In other exciting news, a pepper has appeared on the plant on the kitchen windowsill.