Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Home from my Textile Journey

Well, all that was left was to hit the M6 and travel home with our memories!

But, we decided to make the most of this journey and drove over Kirkstone Pass stopping at Brotherswater for a morning drink. It had rained and there were some great ‘arty’ photo opportunities to be had- a real treat and an unexpected bonus. Then we decided to drive down to Fell Foot where we stopped for lunch. After that it had to be home, but I’ll finish off with one of my favourite photos of the holiday (however, I have about 500 of them!!). It is the context of this photo that appeals to me – I am spinning on a Shetland Wheel at Unst Heritage Centre. This memory will keep me going until we go again – next year??

Spinning at Unst Heritage Centre

Somehow I have managed to miss out the most exciting day of the first week of our holiday on Unst!!  the Friday when I went spinning with the ladies at Unst Heritage Centre. The morning was spent at Hagdale Horse Mill a fascinating place to visit , then lunch at one of our favourite beaches – Norwick. Then I went to the Heritage Centre and found two delightful ladies with their wheels, lots of knitted lace to look at, newspaper cuttings, knitting patterns, books of Shetland Knitting etc and they were going to demonstrate and help with some techniques. I had my fold up Ashford Joy wheel with me and this was an item of interest. During the afternoon, I tried a Shetland Wheel ( hard work with a very small wheel) and Minnie tried my Joy. It was great fun. Several other visitors arrived during the afternoon and we learnt a great cast on from Ann. I only had kebab sticks with me (from my shoe box hand spindle lazy kate) but they worked well.
This is Annie using a knitting belt and showing  us the cast on.
I was taken up with spinning but several of the visitors learnt lace stitches and were delighted to be started off on scarf knitting.
It was a wonderful afternoon and it went far too quickly.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Leaving Shetland

This was our last day, we were booked on the overnight ferry to Aberdeen. So after a leisurely breakfast we drove back from Braewick, stopping for coffee in a delightful spot overlooking a patch of water with swans. Eventually we arrived in Lerwick and parked in the Museum car park overlooking the old quay. It was relatively quiet and a great opportunity for last minute photos. I did manage another trip into the Museum to look at the textile exhibits in greater depth & a spot of shopping before afternoon tea.

Just look at this for a great little notebook for a knitwear fanatic!

Then it was on to the ferry terminal. We had dinner booked for 6.45 and a window seat arranged so we were really looking forward to that despite the fact that the captain stated the sea crossing was officially ‘rough’. However it seemed calmer than going out, perhaps because the swell was behind us. It was quite interesting to view!

I had a plan to visit Linton Tweed’s in Carlisle on the journey back home so not quite the end of this textile adventure!

Shetland Museum once more

Only 2 more days in Shetland so we made the most of it. We left the chalet( reluctantly) and drove into Lerwick. It was a chance to call at the Tourist Office and treat myself to a Sheep poster showing Markings in Shetland Sheep – 63 different pictures of sheep with close ups of their heads.
Then it was on to the museum with the first stop at Hay's Dock coffee shop for what Michael announced was the best warm scone jam & butter he had had in ages. I went on the very informative museum tour after which we met Barbara in the restaurant for a superb lunch. It was great to catch up with Barbara and we hope to meet again next year.
I could write a whole posting (or blog even) about the museum but just look at this for an example of the attention to detail in the restaurant.

Inset into each table in the restaurant is a sample of textile work by a local artist, designer or Shetland College student. This is the work of Elizabeth Johnson who first taught me to spin – apologies for the glare of the sun!

Time was passing so it was a quick trip to Jamieson and Smith for superfine tops - 500g should see me thorough for a few years AND a lovely fleece which I chose myself from the fleece store - so exciting. What a great shop this is.
Then a scenic drive to Eshaness and our last might on Shetland at Braewick campsite with superb views. I am stopping myself getting sad by planning what I can do throughout the year that is Shetland inspired before we return again.

Friday, 2 November 2012

A great book find in Scalloway and more

Coming to the end of our week at Nesting now. We were treated to a glorious sunny morning so set off towards Burra. We stopped on Scalloway ( as we hadn't done that before) and would you believe it there was a second hand book shop and even better there was a knitting machine book that I didn't have!
So the book was purchased and after a quick coffee it was time to search out Meal beach. What a delightful place this was, sand real blue sea and lots of shoreline photo opportunities. (One of these is being translated into a jumper/ cardigan. More later as it is in an early planning stage.)
A view of the glorious sea from the beach

Then back to our chalet to pack up but I was surprised and delighted when Barbara (Ridland)) rang and we were able to fix up to have lunch tomorrow. It was too long since we last met in Fife when she ran a stunning machine knitting course at what is now Jeanette Sendler's
After some packing up I returned to Margaret for an assessment of my fine spinning progress. I was really pleased with her great comments as I know they were honest. Continuing to practise my modified technique is something to look forward to when I am home.
In the evening I finished the pattern of the small alpaca neck scarf, just an edge and casting off on a bigger needle to go. Hurrah, this has been more time consuming and complicated than I thought initially.