Friday, November 30, 2012

I've been knitting

I love knitting Evelyn Clark's designs and recently finished another lace triangle. I used yarn from Fine Fibre Isle which used to operate in P.E.I., but I understand it's (regretfully) no longer in business. Although they are hard to see in the photograph, I've added beads from Italy on the edge and points. They show up better in actual wearing.

I've started Gudrun Johnston's hap shawl, knit in Jamieson & Smith, 2 Ply Lace Weight. However, I've had to put it aside now that I'm at the complicated lace part, where I have to concentrate on each row. 

Today I received the latest edition of 60 North. As always, it's full of interesting news about Shetland, including an article by Kate Davies about Wool Week.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Interesting newsletters

No doubt I spend way too much time on the internet--but on the other hand, the benefits can be many and allow me to learn more than I would have any other way. Here are some newsletters and sites which I've enjoyed and found helpful:

1.  Twist Collective: I read through the whole newsletter in detail and really enjoyed the contents. The answers to knitting queries were helpful and there was a wide variety of patterns and articles. Have a look---

2.  A map of British craftspeople in the Heritage Crafts of the U.K.: Saying that, a glaring omission is the fact that there are no craftspeople listed on Shetland, which I know not to be true! (I'm going to see what I can do to have this corrected.)

3.  Craft and Music on Isle of Yell: Andy Ross who lives on Yell writes I find the site interesting but a reservation is the format, which can be difficult to read.

In my previous post, I should have elaborated on the photos of the knitting. The Fair Isle jumper (sweater) on the woolly board was outside the Bod of Gremista in Lerwick, home of the Shetland Guild; the beautiful example of Shetland Lace was one of the winners in a contest the Guild had. I should have made a note of the creators of these examples of knitting skill--they would be members of the Guild. (A woolly board is an adjustable device used to block and dry sweaters.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

2013 Tours to Scotland and Wales

I wanted to let you know that the details for the 2013 tours to Scotland and Wales are (finally) on my website: (With many thanks to my talented, long-suffering Website Guy!) I apologize for the delay, as I know that a number have been waiting to register.

These will be great tours--I've incorporated many high points from previous tours, and have added a number of visits and venues which I feel certain you will enjoy. Both tours have been planned to be a balance between free time to just reflect and knit, and also to experience the special ambiance of our travels. 

If you have friends and/or relatives who are non knitters, there is much in these unique itineraries which will appeal to them. Many people comment on the value of the tours and we have a considerable number of repeat participants.

 Please contact me if you have any questions, either by phone at 613-695-0889 or by email: Hope you can join us.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kate Davies

I'm excited to announce that Kate Davies will meet with those who are coming on the Scottish Skeins & Skerries Tour next July. She will give us a presentation on the Saturday afternoon in Glasgow and will join us for dinner at the hotel. She also indicated she will be happy to answer questions. 

To continue with my Wool Week activities: another of the many highlights was the opportunity to take a workshop from Kate. I have followed her blogs and admired her designs for months--don't know how she manages to accomplish so much! Kate is both an excellent speaker, organized and very giving of her expertise. The workshop I took was entitled taking a design from concept to finished article and how to sell it on Ravelry. 

There was/is no way I would ever be able design anything but I really enjoyed listening to how an expert does it. Kate's presentation was very informative and centered on the design of a historical cap worn by fishermen. She has the finished product on Ravelry--it is called a Sixareen Kep. This photo shows Kate taking a picture of a photogenic  classmate wearing the kep/hat/toque (to Canadians).    

Have a look at Kate's site on Ravelry. There are a number of excellent photos of the design and details to purchase the instructions.  
patterns>Kate Davies Designs>Sixareen Kep

(P.S. A sixareen is a Norse name and was a specific model of a fishing boat, rowed by six men, each with a single oar. They rowed out to the fishing grounds as far as thirty miles from land--all in an open boat.)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wool Week and lots more

One of the highlights of Wool Week was the presentation of the book A Legacy of Shetland Lace, by members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers, Knitters and Dyers. It is a collection of designs and instructions of traditional Shetland patterns, with some of contemporary adaptations. I highly recommend to everyone to buy a copy--not only for the patterns but also the knitting advice and the biographical information of the designers. There is a project for every level of knitting expertise.

At the moment, it is only available from the Shetland Times Bookstore,  The ISBN number is 978-1-904746-76-8 and it is priced at £23.99 plus postage.

I took several workshops during the week and it was a treat to be so immersed in knitting and associated textile subjects. It seemed when I wasn't actually knitting, I was talking knitting! The workshops I took were held at the Shetland Museum and at Jamieson and Smith (known locally as The Wool Brokers), although there were activities mostly on the main island, but also to Unst and Yell. The workshop in the photo was one given by Hazel Tindall in a Fair Isle design. (Not sure who the man was--he kept turning up all over the town--I was told that he has written several books about spinning wheels.)

At J. & S., it was a real treat to see the many colours and weights of yarn arranged around the walls, including their new Shetland Heritage line. The weather during the week was very fair and I spent times walking along the seafront and just enjoying being back on Shetland again.

More to come in future posts.