Home from Shetland

Some highlights from the Shetland trip (of which there were many)…


espying PUFFINS on Sumburgh Head;



peeping at textiles in the Shetland Museum Archives;


visiting the Croft House Museum and listening to the historic domestic soundscape of a working croft house;


recording the sound of the open peat fire purring;


spotting the greatest sign of all time on the road to Yell;


recording sheep buddies grazing on and near seaweed on the way home from ASF Shetland;


seeing contemporary textiles – woven reworkings of old Fair Isle motifs, at ASF Shetland;


being surprised at Toft – while waiting for my ferry – by sudden appearance of a sleek pair of brown, gleeful-looking OTTERS!*


going to the Voe Show with old and new knitbuddies and seeing the second greatest sign of all time;


discovering the existence of this superlative hat, knitted by Eyvor Irvine of Whalsay, and winner of first place rosette in one of the competitions at The Voe Show. Seriously, how can you not want one?


appreciating the amazing range of baked goods in the Voe Show baking competition;


seeing Shetland Lace up close;


Making a fun road trip to St. Ninian’s with Kait and Lisa, photographing what I think are Suffolk Sheep, and our own woolly outfits;


(Kait in AMAZING, beautifully practical black woollen dress sewn from simplicity pattern, plus big black shawl, and my charity-shop-find Aran, wrapped up against the elements)


(Lisa in her AMAZING, handknitted sweater, comprised of black Spælsau sheep yarn from Annemor Sundbø’s flock)


(Me in AMAZING sweater hand-knitted by Alice of Whalsay, and purchased by me at The Spider’s Web… this sweater is a modern rework of a sweater worn by a fisherman called Johnnie Jamieson. Working out of old photos, Alice has made a contemporary version of the sweater which I have re purposed for catching sounds in the sea! I heart this sweater!)


Whilst on the subject of historic knitwear, it was beautiful to see Kate’s iconic Rams & Yowes blanket at home in its natural habitat of Jamieson & Smith’s shop, with Oliver Henry and pals baling up this year’s wool clip next door;




…and to appreciate the links between Kate’s design and its inspiration in the Shetland landscape and working wool industry. Who can argue with the beauty of this prize-winning Ram at the Voe show?


…or the inspiring palette presented by Pete and Linda’s flock of coloured, organic Shetland Sheep?


I stayed here, and sat on the rocks just outside it listening to crabs under the water and otters splashing in the sea until it got dark;


…and one of the last things I saw before coming home was the luxurious array of shades and colours on the walls inside Shetland Designer.

My mind is completely blown, my SD cards loaded with sounds of water, sheep, spinning, knitting, wind, weather, grazing and weaving.

I am excited to see whether I can make from what I have recorded something which resembles the rich texture of Shetland as I experienced it… I very much hope that I can…


…and I cannot wait to return.

*Sorry about the terrible phone-photo, Ferg, and about all the crap on the sensor that starts to appear in photos later in this post…

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