Friday, 14 October 2016

Shetland 2016 Day Five: Arriving in Shetland

Michael was called to move the motorhome while I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast on board, he later joined me to finish his breakfast and I think we must have been some of the last to leave the Ferry - we were putting in time to be sure Tesco was open! We made a swift visit to Tesco- to fill up with a few essentials. Later on we would be travelling up to Unst to stay for 4  nights. ( Unst is one of our favourite places! ) 

However it was nearly coffee time so a visit to the Peerie Cafe on the front was needed. I thought I recognised the voice behind Michael - it was Hazel Tindall also enjoying coffee and cake with a friend - Susannah from the States, also here to take in wool week. We chatted before we left- Hazel noticed my yoked jumper! But, imagine how I felt - it was my practise for the meadowsweet jumper, not even my best yoked jumper  to greet one of the real experts in yoked knitting?!?! Then it got funnier still as Michael was wearing a fair isle jumper which was also praised and he admitted it came from a Vintage shop in Beccles ( Suffolk)!  As we walked down the stairs we were greeted by another Shetland friend..... and this was within an hour of leaving the ferry! It was lovely. 

The next brief stop had to be the Information centre, just because we always visit there first, then on to the Shetland Times Bookshop! I knew what I was buying and that took a few seconds but of course I had to take the opportunity of having a good browse at the other knitting books. 
The books from The Shetland Times Book Shop - would they be the last for the holiday? 

 Then unfortunately(?!) I had to visit a wool shop. I very much wanted  to contribute a square to the blankets being made during wool week for an orphanage( 1)  but the call came after I had left home! It was quite nice to have to buy yarn and I  decided on two colours to complement some I had brought with me. My plan was to incorporate 'crofthooses' from the wool week hat into the square. Lovely to soak up the colours in Jamiesons. 

Then onto the museum, as the Wool Week sign was being erected- to see where the Hub would be and to take  in the lovely atmosphere and then to the cafe for lunch. This is such a great place with a wonderful view over 'Hay's Dock' , textile work inset into the tables and lace wire knit lampshades - where else would you want lunch on your first day back in Shetland? Service and food was spot on....just as we had remembered from the last visit two years ago. 

We never seem  to have time to call in at Global Yell on the drive up and down between Mainland and Unst so this time we had booked a later ferry in the afternoon and Andy from Global Yell confirmed they would be open and he would be there. ( I enjoy the Global Yell newsletter that drops into my mailbox early each Sunday morning, and was determined to visit if I possibly could. )  What I didn't expect was a personal tour. It was great to see the samples and fabrics that have been produced and hear about plans for the future of Shetland Tweed. I really enjoyed it and appreciated the time given up to me. My father in law was a cotton weaver- in Lancashire- and Andy and I swapped common stories and also discussed my passion ( one of my textile passions) for natural dyeing. I was very envious of all those who are near enough to benefit from and contribute to Global Yell. Andy then took me to The Shetland  Gallery next  door. Although, I was clock watching  so as not to miss the next ferry,  I enjoyed meeting the Shona Skinner and seeing the wonderful work there. This pair of studios is well worth a visit. 

We then drove up to the ferry terminal and the last lap of our journey to Unst. After driving 550 miles to Aberdeen, being transported 216 miles on the ferry and then taking another ferry from Mainland to Yell  we only had one more ferry and a few of the 52 miles from Lerwick to Uyeasound, where we would be staying in front of Gardiesdauld hostel,  left! Unst was now in sight and what we  hoped would be a glorious 5 days before Wool Week actually started. 

Unst from Yell notice the blue sea and bright sun. 

(1)  Mono McAlpine, who lives in Shetland,  has set up a charity called 'From Shetland with Love'. For  wool week we were invited to make and take a 6" square to be made into blankets during the week. Mona would then take these to an orphanage in Lesoto. These will be used by children left orphaned by the HIV/ AIDS crisis. More about Mona's amazing story here  Mona 

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