Monday, 23 October 2017

Shetland Wool Week day 7: An idyllic day in Unst: Tuesday 19 September

We got up to a brilliant sunny but windy day. I decided that some washing was in order. Pegging this on the line was challenging, needing 3 pegs forced down on each item and as I left the line it was all horizontal. It would be a good drying day.
I had received emails from two local people, Cheryl who I had met in a photography workshop last year and Minnie whom I had known from spinning etc for several years. We hoped to meet both during our time in Unst. 
We managed to get to Victoria’s Vintage Tea Rooms for coffee. The cakes as always were delicious, do fit in a trip there if you are ever that far north and below is just a quick snap as we arrived. As a treat we bought an Unst Calendar for next year, the added bonus being that I will not make our own and they are all pictures of Unst - that will be a real delight for 2018.

We were, of course, off to Norwick beach - one of our favourite beaches in Unst. Michael walked up the road to look for birds and I went on the beach to take pictures of seaweed. After a break for lunch, made in the camper van there was time for more of the same! 

I did tear myself away to finish a little textile project, lacing my boots with their new inkle woven laces in black and gold cotton to match the original stitching on the boots.  I am very pleased with them and in fact they got many favourable comments later in the holiday. It was a surprise to be stopped in the street and someone pointing to my feet and then after some more pointing and attempt at speaking a common language the lady and I managed to have a conversation about the laces. She knows they are woven but the ‘inkle weaving’ might have been a step too far!

The day got better, we stopped in Skiboull Stores for some provisions - pear tart, 2 delightful fair isles mugs for morning coffee when we get home etc and who should come in too, but Minnie. We missed each other in Shetland last year so we had a bit of catching up to do but things soon turned to spinning and natural dyeing. We hoped to meet up on Friday at the Heritage Centre when I would go along in the afternoon to meet local spinners and knitters who meet there in the summer at that time. 

What a super day it had been, great scenery, great seaweed, great cake and catching up with friends. We slept well. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

Shetland Wool Week day 6: A rest day in Unst : Monday 18 September

We had been travelling for 5 days so deemed today a rest day. We were not tempted to do otherwise as it was a bit wet outside first thing. We did not move the van all day. 
I decided that complete rest could well result in a migraine so set to on getting to the final draft stage with a month's long online textile workshop  ( on getting a professional finish to garments) that I am working on to be delivered in November. 
Image of section of workshop 

This is my first venture into this sort of thing, although in the past I have written stand alone teach yourself units - but that was in A level Chemistry and not a textile based subject. It will be interesting to see how this goes. 
By lunchtime it has stopped raining and brightened up. However, I was determined to get the new laptop talking to the wi fi in the hostel. Eventually  it worked, failure at first was operator failure and lack of familiarity with the newish laptop. 
It was very nice to walk round the sound to the north east and surprised to see a loch behind the shore. I just stretched my legs and took photos of sea based things, seaweed and fishermen's bits for the colour and texture- part of today's textile interest. I took a couple of other photos unique to Uyeasound, more on one in a later post. Michael walked much further looking at birds and was surprised and delighted by an otter that ran across the road from the sea to the loch. When he looked it obviously has a well worn track from the beach. He watched it for a couple of minutes while it swam away into the loch. 
We can fully understand how important this area was in the past due to the long area of sheltered sea. It is good to see there is still fish based industry of a sizeable nature still here.(1) 
In the previous post this can be seen  towards the right of the photo showing the sound. In the past herring were a big catch in this part of Unst and herring girls followed the shoals, some going down to Gt Yarmouth and Lowestoft - what a small world it is. 

I couldn't resist this photo of the bus stop - how useful to have a pair of wellies to use! 
Uyeasound bus stop

(1) It seems that in 2007 when a new pier was built, 30 people were employed by two fish farms in Uyeasound.  More recently one of the farms has been sold by the family that have been running it 24/7 for 47 years! They were raising about 275,000 fish which equated to approx 1000 tons of salmon a year. Today, business seems mainly to be raising the salmon and the area is good for this as the farms seem to avoid the detrimental 'sea lice'. I will wonder when I next buy my Shetland salmon whether it was alive and well when we were looking out at the sound. Scotland is the third biggest world producer of salmon and quite a lot of this comes from Shetland and the other islands.