Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Shetland 2016 Day Nine: Unst Heritage Centre

23rd Sept
This is the day I had been waiting for. Each week over the summer the ladies spin and knit and talk to visitors on an afternoon ( Friday this year)  at the Heritage Centre. When we are in Shetland I have managed to visit them and spin, knit and talk and have a lovely time. I guessed this Friday might be different as wool week was the following week and there would be classes at the Museum and an open day but I was told the afternoon would happen ! 
After another lovely lunch at Victoria's Tea Rooms ( warmed cheese scone with Orkney Cheese and Ham) I went to the Heritage Centre and Michael had his last trip to look at the birds further north on the island. I was having to leave before the end as we had two ferries to take and quite a bit of a drive down to Cunningburgh where we would be based for the next ten nights. 
Norwick (Norik) beach where M would be based while looking for birds
How can you fit everything in to less than two hours? The time flew by. I did get a chance  to look again at the collection of historical knitwear and marvel at the fine yarn used to knit it. It doesn't matter how many times I look at it, I still 'see' more and marvel at the beauty of it all. The 'knitting' room had been re-arranged ... well it had been two years since I was last there. I was glad there seemed room for fine knitted items by the Unst knitting ladies for sale. I recognised Old Shale, cockleshell, cockleshell with colours, bird's eye amongst the patterns. 
I spent most of the afternoon talking to Anne about her knitting, some of my knitting, my Ashford Double Treadle Joy compared to a Shetland Wheel.  I took the opportunity to look at the lace and fair isle books there too.( At these afternoons there is an additional display of knitwear belonging to the ladies and books). 
As I was wearing my meadowsweet jumper this led to an extended conversation about my natural dyeing and I wished I had more examples with me. Technology helped me out as I did manage to locate photos on my iPad - but never as good as the real thing. 
However, lace knitting formed a good part of the conversation and I showed Anne the Norfolk Horn fleece that I had with me and also some recycled plastic bottle yarn I had spun as lace weight - couldn't find the photo of the bag I knitted from that though. 

Suddenly I looked at my watch and knew I had to be speedy as I wanted to add a few rows to the Unst Wool Week ' piece'. I decided to knit a Norik  Drummie Bee in the middle if it, as a memory ( and thank you) to Hazel for translating this pattern (1) and teaching me in the spinning class two years ago. I needed full concentration but wanted to chat too! Never mind it worked and I had just about cleared up ready to rush to the ferry when Michael arrived. The next day we would be on mainland and it would be my first class at Wool Week. 

No time for photos but this is a string of Norik Drummie Bees in a bookmark. 

(1) The pattern with many Drummie Bee is from Recreating Vintage Shetland Lace available from Unst Heritage Centre. 

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