Thursday, 10 November 2016

Shetland 2016 Day Fifteen : Making a Fair Isle Pattern Book

Day Six Wool Week : Thurs Sept 29 

I was really looking forward to this class, I had heard how good it was. In fact it was the only whole day class I was doing. I was early for the class ( as always) but I wasn't expecting to be one of the last - other people were keen to get started too. 
Mary turned out to be a great tutor and started off by telling us we were going to make 2 books not just one - wow! I enjoy making removable book covers but was really interested to find out how to make the actual book and an attached cover. Everything we needed was provided and we started swiftly. Instructions were clear and Mary continually gave us tips from her experience. We soon had sections of folded pages sewn together. 

Next it was glueing, even including  professionally looking 'headbands'. By this stage we had chosen our covers and so could colour coordinate this process - this appealed to my attention to detail. As soon as we got the glue on and it was resting we could start the second book. Clear demonstrations and the fact that we could do this twice certainly helped to fix the process in the brain. We were given, and talked through,  the process for making the cover. Mary did all these in advance - necessary so they could be 'dry' and be ready for us to use on the day. At the end of the day we all had a Fair Isle pattern book with squared paper and one with  plain. As with other workshops we were given information about suppliers and details of how to contact Mary if we felt we needed additional information. I was so glad I had chosen this workshop and was now keen to make my own book entirely from scratch. 
The class set being weighted down

I have decided that one of my books will be used to record my fleece and the other to record my dyeing  stocks ( mainly natural), state of the dyes etc. My dyes and fleece are stored in my fleece shed so I will use the books often for information. Currently I have to go and search and rely on my memory!! 
I was so taken with the class that I hadn't really noticed the weather. It had been very wet and windy during the night but dried up as we drove to Lerwick. The plan was for Michael to have a full day birdwatching, but he decided to have a leisurely coffee, pop into town and then noticed  that  the latest Bridget Jones film was on at Mareel. This seemed better than being out in the wind and rain and the film was quite enjoyable. 

As Margaret Parker  (online Guild convener) and I were going through how pleased we both were with the Book Making class over a cup of tea first her husband and then M turned up to join us. The weather wasn't  the best for either cycling or birdwatching! As we got back to the Marina, we saw lots of seals very close to us. I was in collapse mode and needed to rest as I had two classes tomorrow involving a quick lunch taken while being driven between Hoswick and Lerwick. In fact Saturday was a full day too so I just had to pace myself! 


  1. Hi Janet, what an interesting workshop. Did the tutor knit the covers or are they from repurposed jumpers/other knitwear?
    Enjoying reading of your travels.
    Joy x

  2. Hi Joy,
    initially I think Mary used bits of knitwear from Jamieson's - I understand they have a marvellous oddment bin. However, due to demand for the books she is now having the covers knitted for her. You could knit your own!