A luxurious celebration in print of craft, creativity, adventure and all things Shetland
We are excited to introduce the Shetland Wool Adventures Journal vol.2 which will feature 6 beautiful knitting projects, interesting articles written by Shetland experts, walks, seasonal Shetland recipes, Shetland book reviews, stunning photography and much more.
Designers featured in this issue: Wilma Malcolmson, Ella Gordon, Anne Eunson, Rachel Hunter, Linda Shearer and Barbara Cheyne.
Printed and bound in the UK.
Atlantic Waves Slipover
Anne loves lace knitting and she hails from a family of accomplished lace knitters. She learned to knit as a young child and then went on to study contemporary textiles and continues to produce beautiful contemporary lace designs based on traditional Shetland lace motifs. You might have heard of Anne’s knitted garden fence which she made from durable black twine that is used to make fishing nets on specially adapted curtain poles. Anne’s mum and her aunts from her side of the family were lace knitters while her aunts from her dad’s side of the family were Fair Isle knitters so it has been in Anne’s head for years to design a garment which brought the two knitting genres together. The Atlantic Waves tank top is knitted in Langsoond yarn. Langsoond is a double-knit weight, woollen spun yarn in 4 different natural, undyed shades and is 100% wool from Shetland sheep.
Up Helly Aa Gansey
The design of the Up Helly Aa Gansey is inspired by the countless Viking galleys or long ships that I have seen consumed by flames over the years at the various Up Helly Aa and Fire Festivals throughout Shetland. The bright lacework motifs in fiery colours against the dark background remind me of that magical time when the embers are starting to calm down after a period of more ferocious burning. The Up Helly Aa Gansey is knitted in the round from the bottom up. The sleeves are knitted first, followed by the body, before joining together and working a colourful lace yoke. Underarm stitches are dropped and held on stitch holders/waste yarn prior to joining the yoke and these are grafted at the end for a seamless finish. The body and sleeves also incorporate an eight-row welt motif that provides texture. This reminds me of the planks of wood that make up the hull of the Viking galley but it is also influenced by the textures found on traditional ganseys worn by fishermen in coastal communities throughout the UK.
Designed to match Ella’s Hesti Hat in Volume 1, these mitts are inspired by original Fair Isle motifs and colours. Ella used bands of peerie patterns and a colour palette with faded versions of traditional shades which make it feel like a vintage piece of knitwear. Each mitt is knitted in the round with corrugated ribbing and an afterthought thumb.
Nighthawk was a colour of yarn from Jamieson’s of Shetland that I really liked but had not used. On a visit to The Hoxa Tapestry Gallery in Orkney I bought some cards. The one that I liked most was ‘Echoes of Hamnavoe’ and I found myself thinking about how the mix would look in Fair Isle patterns! Nighthawk came to mind and I experimented with other toning colours. I chose two traditional Shetland patterns, adapting them to fit. After a few colour swatches, I designed a hat (which you can find in Volume 1), and then a slipover. I hope you will enjoy using the yarns and knitting my design!
Hillside is the name of Barbara’s house where the mitts were created and made. Barbara’s ‘knitting to sell’ career began when she was thirteen and knitted mittens with the Norwegian star on the back and the palm in a small pattern. With the development of mobile phones Barbara created the handwarmer with open thumb and no fingers so that access to the phone was easy. This has proved very popular for all ages. Different stitch patterns that use the same amount of stitches can be used on the back.
Linda is a very talented knitter from the island of Whalsay and the chair of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers. She is also is very active supporting young Whalsay lasses who love knitting Fair Isle, and regularly win prizes for their knitting at the local shows. The inspiration for this slipover came from when Linda was young, during the 1970’s and 80’s. There were a lot of ‘shaded in’ (as Linda’a mother called them) garments on the go. Linda particularly remembers many men in Whalsay wearing blue ‘shaded in’ ganseys. However, this type of toned colouring design had been around for many years before. For this design Linda chose her favourite colours of grey and pink and with wine tones.
The natural Shetland wool colours also lend themselves to this example. ‘Hamar’ is Shetland dialect word for ‘a rocky hill’.