Sunday, 4 November 2018

Shetland Wool Week 2018: Day 13: Unst Heritage Centre

Fri 21 Sept 
It  was a beautiful morning and so nice as it was out last full day in Unst, until we return! The heron was standing serenely on the point, it was cloud free and the sea was completely calm.... but I didn’t take a photo! 
We just had the morning because Friday afternoon’s are special when you are in Unst ‘in the season’ . The knitting and spinning ladies have a rota and there is always at least one person who will be knitting or spinning or  both and will let visitors try a knitting help or have a go at spinning, with brilliant guidance. I, unusually, would have my wheel with me so would go and sit and spin too.  Also there is an additional display of knitted items and some useful books on display 
So in the morning, i began by writing more notes to answer questions from last night’s dyeing and would leave these at the Heritage Centre to be copied. 
 Once out, we called at the post office to get a wide tube as I decided this would be a good thing to keep my lace knitting in where everything will be in one place. (1) I was keeping it in a pillowcase. So after Baltasound we moved up to Victoria’s and a group of ladies came in wearing their Mirrie Dancers Shetland Wool Week hats, so we had a chat about the coming week. 

Another view of Norwich beach, M with binoculars in hand

We went onto Norwick beach to have a great view for lunch and drove back so I could be at the Heritage Centre for 14.00 It was good to see Meryl  ‘on duty’ as she had been at the dyeing session the evening before and during the afternoon Minnie popped in which was nice as we didn’t have time for a chat last night. 
As I was in Unst I had had a number of questions from the ‘Fine Shetland Lace’ fb group and in discussion managed to get them answered by the people who would know about the history of lace knitting in Unst. 
Another lady, Dot, who I also met last night popped in too. So even more chatting about the natural dyeing. (2) I fixed up to pop and have a cup of tea with her on the way back as she lives along the bay where we stay. 
Early on in the session it was great to hear a familiar voice from home! This belonged  an excited lady as she had planned to trace  some of her ancestors whilst here and this included a special knitted item. She was so pleased to have arrived for her first Wool Week. She had driven straight up from mainland, having arrived on the ferry that morning. We expected to be seeing more of each other during the following week. 

It was lovely that it was such a busy afternoon, and I found myself demonstrating, including spinning fine  on a Joy fold up wheel which is rather different from the ones used in Unst. I found myself saying that I was not a resident, whilst secretly wishing I was! 

Some of my local Norfolk Horn fine spun lace, I need to take it off the card and measure the length so I can see how many metres there are per g. 

So after the session finished we called round to see Dot and her husband only to find they had built the zero carbon house that I had read about, so it was a rather special cup of tea and a chat. (3)
I gathered some Dock from behind the shore. I was interested to see how differently the madder was dyeing with Unst water and thought I would do another comparison dyeing  dock from Unst and dock from home and seeing what difference if any that will give me. (4) 
By early evening the beautiful morning looked like it was the lull before the storm, the wind changed direction and seemed to be opposite to what we had been having, so tonight we would sleep towards the sea, a first! 
What another great week in Unst this had been. 

1 This does work but is not really  wide enough to remove the folded pillowcase from easily. I have since designed and made a project bag which I will describe later. 
2 Some years ago Dot had been involved in an interesting natural dyeing project based at Bristol University with David Hill, where very many metal compounds were investigated as mordants. 
3 The  website for the house is: 
4 This is still a project ‘in waiting’ 

No comments:

Post a Comment