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.