There are several signs that you are grown up:
- Snow has the ability to be a pain in the arse as well as quite pretty;
- You no longer get excited by an envelope with your name on, in fact frequently quite the reverse’
- Christmas comes around jolly quickly these days.
Fortunately, whilst Christmas may rock up with greater speed each year, so does Shetland Wool Week. It is almost a year ago that I returned from Loch Ness Knit Fest with the knowledge that there were three other knit festivals that definitely warranted attendance. Today I am tucked up in Da Peerie Hoose in Sandwick on Shetland after my first day at Shetland Wool Week and I am still pinching myself (I’m getting quite sore actually!)
Accommodation was booked first (I can highly recommend Da Peerie Hoose, it wasn’t finished when we booked it back in October last year, but it’s already a popular cottage and rightly so). I registered for the summer sailing alert on NorthLink Ferries and then waited anxiously for the morning in March when I could book tickets for the vast array of workshops, tours and events that comprise Shetland Wool Week. For those old enough to remember, it was like a hybrid of the first day of the Harrods Sale and opening your A-level results; mad chaos and intense anticipation.
One of the advantages of a couple where one is a yarn and fibre lover and the other loves to bother fish is that both activities can usually be accommodated in similar geographical locations. Note – Shetland Wool Week, Loch Ness Knit Fest, Fanø Strikkefestival (Denmark), Iceland Wool Week. Stuart has ample opportunities to dangle a line in fresh and sea water whilst I indulge in some fibre love. Consequently this is Stuart on Sunday morning at the start of our travels to Shetland.
This is the equipment I took with me.
The ferry crossing was pleasantly uneventful (I gather crossings earlier in the week were a tad bumpier, I am glad I missed them) I was faintly amused by this sign.
I wondered if it referred to bad weather when perhaps walking up and down stairs was replaced by a more rapid “transit”.
Monday morning was bright and clear and we managed to pack all of Stuart’s fishing tackle/bait/goodness knows what into our little hire car and went to explore. Our priorities were:
- Check location of Fishing Tackle shop (no prizes who that was for)
- Obtain 1 x 2.00 mm 40 cm circular needle (even I was surprised I didn’t have one!)
- Obtain hearing aid batteries. Whilst I am quite happy to potter around in semi-sludgy silence when it’s just Stuart and me (!) I did want to be able to hear the workshop leaders and chat to all the other knitters from around the world (New Zealand is the furthest travelled I have met thus far) and I had forgotten my spare set.
It was in forgetting the hearing aid batteries we met Tommy who is the Lerwick equivalent of Six Dinner Sid and was planning his adventures for the day whilst chilling out in Boots.
Breakfast at The Dowry and this was our view.
The food was pretty darn good too and after a potter down to the Hub we returned for lunch and met Stuart’s partner in fish bothering crime, the lovely Adam from Connecticut. His wife Anne, who I met through the SWW facebook page also has a fabulous knitting podcast, I thought I knew how.
We also spotted these
Are they not quite beautiful? Currently on my needles is the Twageos Tam O’Shanter from The Vintage Shetland Project by Susan Crawford.
When I have mastered that, I may try some of the other glorious vintage patterns, but whether I achieve the delicacy and intricate colour work of these is debatable!
Then time for our first workshops. Stuart was playing with fused glass and I learned to knit my first ever afterthought heel. I am so impressed with myself, I kept having to stop and admire this thing of beauty.
This is where I have to confess that I didn’t knit the sock itself, that was prepared for us by the wonderful Lesley Smith who made Fair Isle Afterthought Heels a complete breeze!
Finally we arrived at our home for the week. Oh my, it is like living in the little house you dreamed of when you were a little girl.
Our cosy and very comfortable bed.
The amazingly well stocked kitchen.
The instant meals are ours – we weren’t in the mood for cooking!
This morning we are up bright and early after a night knitting (me) reading and planning fishing (him) by the fire.
Have a great day wherever you are.
Love Gillie x
3 thoughts on “ferries and fair isle”
I hadn’t heard of Shetland Wool Week until now!
It’s a wonderful experience. If you are thinking of attending I suggest you book accommodation for next year as soon as possible!
This was all new to beloved hearing your story!! I loved the Loch Ness Knit Fest when it was running and miss it. Didn’t know that there were others going on.