Hello & Welcome

Hi if you’re reading this you’re either interested in me or interested in knitting!  Thought it was a good idea to address both of these in the first blog.

Back when I attended my first Shetland Wool Week in 2014 little did I know where it would take me.  I went on a class at Sumburgh Lighthouse with Vivian Hoxbro on colour and I had an amazing time both trying out colour combos and meeting other people who were as interested in knitting as me and more.  Fast forward a couple of years to 2016 when I was working part time in a Lerwick café and saw one of the Shetland Wool Week organisers.  I took my chance and offered my services as a volunteer to sell merchandise or something.  She wondered could I knit?  Could I teach?  Yes and no were my answers but my Mam could (she insists I call her Mam as she says she’s not anybody’s ‘Mum’)  I knew she would never teach on her own but maybe we could try it together?  It might be a fun?  Classes booked up quickly so here was a chance for me to be in the heart of things and not have to worry about what time they went on sale.

We had a lot of work to do and I’m so grateful for the process of developing a class as it allowed me the excuse to ask Mam ‘20 questions’ about her knitting past and many other family members.  I found out so much I never knew about my Mam’s knitting history.

What would we knit in the class?  What would we try to teach?  Well Mam’s knitting when I was growing up was knitting fair isle yokes onto machine knit jumper bodies.  So this seemed the obvious thing, plus locally, fair isle yokes had become popular again with every lass 12 – 32 owning a fair isle cardigan.  We never like to waste anything so if the class could knit something they could use even better.  So the Fair Isle Yoke Bag was born.

Last year I stepped into teaching on my own, outwith Shetland at a creativity glamping weekend in the heart of England.  I had a brilliant time and knew I wanted to do more to share more of Shetland’s heritage and Shetland’s knitting techniques for others to learn and enjoy.

When did I start my knitting techniques?  Well I learned to knit at home when I was about 6 then went on to knit mostly Fair Isle through primary school both at home and at school.  I knitted a few jumpers and cotton tops and baby presents in my teenage years and early 20’s but came back to the Fair Isle knitting and felt this is ‘my thing’ when I became more playful with colour, trying things out, making mistakes but ultimately having fun. So here I am, I hope you’ll join me on my journey where I’ll share some of Shetland’s history, Shetland knitting techniques and stories about my life here in Shetland.

16 thoughts on “Hello & Welcome”

  • So pleased to see the first blog post and live web site, Jannette! Your enthusiasm makes me want to knit Fair Isle every day.

    • Janette Budge says:

      Aww thank you Adrianne, thank you for the encouragement. Knitting Fair Isle every day is a great thing to do!

  • Congratulations in taking the next step on your creative journey. I look forward to not only following you on Instagram but your blog. Xx

    • Janette Budge says:

      Thank you Lenore much appreciated. Let me know if there’s anything you’d particularly like to hear about on the blog.

  • Wonderful
    Will you be having classes in SWW 2020?
    Love to try fair isle machine knitting

    I am coming from Perth Western Australia and have already put my name down for tours. They have not set dates as yet but I hope they will be prior to SWW.

    • Janette Budge says:

      Hi Sheonagh I would hope to have classes at SWW 2020, I’m not proficient enough to teach fair isle machine knitting but know some that are. Maybe we can put it forward as a suggestion for next year. If you are coming with an organised tour they may have tutors organised as part of the itinerary. Thanks so much for your interest. x

  • Laurie DuBois says:

    So looking forward to hearing more about your Mam’s and your knitting stories and about life in Shetland! Great beginning! 👏

  • Hello and thank you for allowing me to join.
    I was taught knitting in primary school. A cotton dish cloth. I have memories of doing a good job and I think it is the reason I love it so much today.
    I have knitted on and off but the last 4 years have been very knitting focused. I live in Perth Western Australia but go back home to Dundee each year always planning it around a Yarn Festival event. Loch Ness YF, Edinburgh YF and have made tentative bookings for SWW 2020 yarn tours although dates not yet released. I completed my very first fair isle this year and love your patterns. I will try sending a pic. Would love to do one of your workshops.

    • Janette Budge says:

      Lovely to hear some of your knitting history Sheonagh. Interesting to hear you grew up in Dundee, do you knit with long DPNs or circular needles? Hopefully you can fit in a class when you come next year. Get in touch when you know your dates I often do bespoke classes.

  • That was a great read, Janette. So interesting how your family’s knitting history is intertwined with Shetland’s knitting tradition. Congratulation on your website and your blog. I’m very much looking forward to read more and to follow you on your creative journey.

    • Janette Budge says:

      Thanks Melanie I’m glad you enjoyed the blog, another post is in progress hopefully have it ready by the end of the week.

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