Monday, 19 June 2017
Saturday, 17 June 2017
14th June 2017
An open letter to Shetland Islands Council
I note the decision not to renew The Promote Shetland contract from 30th June 2017. Please reconsider this decision.
I note that you wish to move from ' much less about heritage tourism' rather about attracting people, particularly young people, to live, work and study and invest in Shetland'. This seems a strange decision to me when you already have in Promote Shetland what I consider an incredible group of people working at promoting Shetland. They are building on the past but looking to the future. Surely to build on those industries that are well established and expanding is valuable and to suggest not using expertise of 3 of the team seems to be very short sighted.
I write as someone who first visited Shetland in 2000, for the birds and the knitting. We couldn't believe how well promoted everything was and it made our journey there painless and stress free. Whilst I was there I was taught to spin by the very talented Elizabeth Johnson. This is something that for nearly20 years has changed my life. We returned in 2012 (poor health keeping us away in between) and determined to visit as soon as we could to Wool Week. I go to numerous ' wool related events' but nothing is even remotely in the same league as wool week. I have now been twice and returning again this year. I have told many people about it and others that I know are now going to Shetland for wool week. If you multiply this by the number of people who attend Wool Week each year you will see how successful just this event is in promoting people to visit. By looking at the programme you will also see that it is now including other ‘businesses’ not just wool. These are how successful ventures evolve. Once people see what Shetland is like some will move and they are likely to have a plan of how they make a go of it. This must be true of the other 'tourist activities' that are so well promoted and run. Of course this is saying nothing about those friends that now buy wool related supplies from Shetland who would not have thought of it in the past. I am so impressed by the organisation of Wool Week that I have spoken about it to others running different events who can learn lessons from 'how it is done' in Shetland.
I must mention things like my sheer enjoyment and pride in learning from and calling as 'friends' experts in the knitting field. My friends, back in Norfolk and beyond now ask about when books etc by these people are being published, how they can get them etc.
I hope you get the message, to ' not help' wool week to succeed seems to me, and I suspect any far sighted person, asa poor and wrong decision. To have a goldmine like this needs to be seized and encouraged not put in jeopardy.
I do hope you will reconsider this decision.
Monday, 5 June 2017
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
The previous post shows the advert for a machine of this type. I was away when preparing that post and have now got the machine out of store and revelled in its simplicity and the ingenuity of its design. I just love it.
The machine in its original box
I have hoovered it thoroughly, gently wiped the wonderful green enamel and put ballistol oil on the knitting mechanism
The machine bed.
Note the ends- the numbers represent the tension, a simple 'blob in a dent' system which works amazingly well.
Very simply the machine works by enabling the 'gate pegs' to come out by moving the inner slider to the opposite end of the carriage, the yarn is placed in the resulting horizontal groove, the other slider is moved along and the yarn is pulled towards the needle bed. The stitch formation action is completed by moving the front lower section around in a specified circuit ( towards you and round away from you ) and then you are ready to begin again.
I was very lucky in that I had in the box, 2 cast on combs and a bristle brush; clear instructions accompanied by photographs on how to work the machine ; instructions on knitting garments ; a supplement of fancy stitches and a superb double sided advert describing clientele suited for using the machine - including 'war wounded men'!
I have knitted samples on the machine but not an item yet!
I have owned it for several years (35?) - it was bought at a local auction . One has just been for sale on eBay for £300- which is a LOT more than this cost ! ( I don't know if it was sold for that!)
The interesting thing to me is finding out more about the machine. Further research of my own and help from a lady in the Vintage Knitting Machine FB group has established:
The machine was made in Italy.
The first model came out in 1938, it seems without the end tension dials
The model I have went by many other names' the miniknitter' being a common one, it seems to be model 2 - having the end tension dials.
It was made between 1949 and 1959, so it looks as if my machine is about the same age as me!
The lady (Pia) who has provided some of the extra information is the proud owner of one of these machines as well as a Passap ST120. She believes that the Passap is older still as it has some wood contained in the machine. The sliders in the Lanofix are clearly made from early 'plastic'.
Again if you know more about a Lanofix Miniknitter machine then do get in touch.