Shetland knitting inspiration

A final wool-week round up . . .

Shetland rams at Lunna

prize-winning Shetland fleeces

Traditional tam in natural Shetland sheep-shades from the Shetland Museum collection.

Weaving sample book from the museum collection.

Fairisle swatches from the museum collection – some worked as individual swatches, most simply cut from old garments to preserve the pattern.

Swatches of more recent ilk! Gudrun (wearing Norie and Aestlight Shawl ) and Mary Jane lay out the source material from Mary Jane’s invaluable new book 200 Fairisle Motifs. Order your copy today!

I found it quite overwhelming looking at Mary Jane’s beautiful swatches – I could have gazed at their infinite variety for hours – but I was repeatedly drawn to those at the centre of this photo.

Here is Sarah examining the gorgeous garments from Gudrun’s collection, while wearing a natty cardigan of her own. . .

. . .in fact, Sarah is always clad in interesting knitwear. He she is once again trying (and failing) to avoid the camera wearing a cardigan knitted by Sandra Manson (whose Viking Tunic you’ll find in the Knit Real Shetland collection), and a tam made by her friend Ottilie.

This is a Sanquhar glove, knitted in laceweight alpaca on teeny-tiny needles by Masami Yokoyama.

Masami (the elegant figure in the foreground of this photo, with Sue and Megan behind her) is a superlative knitter, and a great Fairisle designer too – you’ll find the pattern for her Osaka tea-cosy in the Knit Real Shetland collection).

And to close – perhaps the most inspiring hand-knitted piece I saw in a week full of knitting inspiration. This is a prize-winning lace dress, owned by Cathie Leask and knitted by her aunt over fifty years ago. The tale of this beautiful garment was part of Cathie’s entry in the Shetland Stories Competition. I felt very privileged to be able to see this dress, while reading Cathie’s memories about it.