Shetland Wool Week 2017

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thingymajig
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I just couldn't wait to write this post after another successful Wool Week!

I spent day 1 (Saturday) catching up with people around Lerwick including friends who live south and people who had been in touch with me to say they were coming. It was a great way to start off the week. People were already recognizing me and my Triple Tone Circular Scarf (pictured left) from the Wool Week Annual, some were already knitting it!

Having a look around the museum with my friend Nicole (of Thingymajig Textiles, if you don't know of her or her work, look her up! Now.) was a perfect way to get into the spirit of things, she had a display set up in the museum and it was gorgeous! A proud day for us both.

The opening ceremony is held in the bowls hall of the Clickimin Centre on Sunday the 24th. The two hour ceremony included speeches from organisers, Misa Hay and Carol Christiansen, as well as talks by Gudrun Johnston as the patron and a talk about the textile industry from Andy Ross. Compere Claire White kept things punctual as well as keeping everyone laughing and enjoying themselves. A Q&A with a knowledgeable panel gave audience members a chance to ask their questions and of course the fashion show was admired by everyone. With beautifully designed garments and accessories, a group of lovely volunteer models, and music by local band Vair, it was without doubt a highlight of the evening.

Wool Week 2017 was my first chance to teach my own classes and it was a great experience. I have already stated to think about what I want to do next! I had two lovely groups of people, the first were learning about knitting a crown pattern on a fair isle hat, in particular the star patter that is common in Shetland. My students did very well and I was so relieved that I could answer all of their questions.

In my second class I was talking about design and charting. This was so much fun for me as each student left the class aware of their own style of designing, it was great to see people get their head around how they think about Fair Isle, and how they can use this to their advantage. This class flew by so quickly that I forgot to drink my cup of tea, never mind take any pictures!

Many other classes were taking place, including dying spinning, brioche knitting, cockleshell lace, lace haps, steeking, various forms of Fair Isle, and so much more. Each class I entered had between five and twenty-five students completely engrossed in what they were doing, taking in any information or advice they could from the knowledgeable tutors. It was great to see tutors from all over the world as well as familiar faces here in Shetland.

During the evenings there were opportunities to see talks from patron, Gudrun Johnston, designers Marie Wallin and Di Gilpin, as well as the ladies of Thingborg. The Icelandic ladies of Thingborg have been a hit throughout the week. They were teaching classes as well as presenting a talk to the packed auditorium. These women run a wool centre in the South West part of the country. Roles include sorting, spinning, dying, packing, and running the shop and many of them have their own sheep as well as doing their part in the wool centre. It was particularly inspiring to me to see and hear about how other designers work as well as how their careers have progressed.

The makers market was great for me as it was one of my first chances to run my own stand. I would like to thank my two little sisters,Lucia and Kyna, who helped out all day and of course everyone who came to see my stand. A great experience for me!

Whats Next?

My current focus is the Christmas Craft Fair which is due to be held on the 10th-12th of November (Only 3 weeks away!!) in the Clickamin Centre, Lerwick. I have started all over again building up stock, developing ideas and designing my stand. This will be another first for me but I'm sure I will enjoy it, I look forward to seeing many of you there!

Extras!

This pattern was included in the Shetland Wool Week Annual 2016 and was designed by myself and Wilma Malcolmson. I have now made it available to buy on Ravelry!

I was inspired by so many of the people who recently visited Shetland. In particular, the ladies of Thingborg, Iceland. Anyone who has been following my Instagram or Facebook accounts will already know how much I have enjoyed knitting one of their patters, with their wool! I have added a link to their website, just click "Be inspired..."

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