Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Shetland Wool Week: Day 16: Glass and Knitting

Monday 23 Sept  Glass and Knitting 
Initially the plan for today was to have a restful day taking in looking round the Museum at the special exhibitions and then to attend Elizabeth’s evening talk in the Shetland Museum’s lecture theatre. 

However, travelling on the way up I noticed that Cheryl of Glansin Glass was going to do a couple of workshops in turning Fair Isle designs into glass coasters on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning in Lerwick. This was too good to miss and so I booked up for the Monday afternoon class and was really looking forward to it. 

We stopped off at the wonderful Mackenzie’s Farm shop for the first bacon bap of the stay. After that we drove to the museum and first of all I looked at the main exhibition space for the textile items. However many times I look at this there is still something that takes my eye. This time I was particularly taken by how the brims were executed on the the hats designed by Theodora Coutts. 

We enjoyed a coffee and scone in Hay’s  Dock Restaurant  and had hoped to eat dinner there in the evening. However we were told that unlike previous years the restaurant would only be open for dinner at the end of the week. This seemed rather odd as it was usually nicely full with Wool Week lectures on throughout the week. (1) 

I then looked at the Spinning a Yarn: Simone Landwehr-Traxler exhibits in the Museum Foyer Corridor  which were produced in response  to a visit to Shetland in 2016 to study Fair Isle patterns. It was very difficult to get any good photos, the one below shows the transparency of the piece but the circle is showing fair isle patterning. The pieces were very large and I would have liked to have found out more background to them. 

Unfortunately phase 2 of the Nottingham-Shetland  Knitted Lace Research Project was not yet available for exhibition. This was disappointing as we had seen Phase 1 during a previous wool week but hopefully it will be on show in 2019. 

It was time for lunch and then I needed to find the Lerwick Boat Club as this is where the glass workshop was taking place. After asking a couple of local people I spotted Cheryl’s face at the door to the venue. The workshop room was a great space with wonderful views over the sound to Bressay. 

Cheryl was well prepared and described our options. She had brought several Fair Isle patterns with her and also some blank squared paper for us to use in our designs. I had begun to map out some of the patterns of my ground elder cardigan as I was hoping to make a ‘blues’ based version for a small wall plaque.

Making my  Fair Isle glass panel 

 It was great fun and demanded one’s full attention. I had time to do a small square one too with a favourite Shetland tree design, I did this in greens, but with some red added for contrast. 
Cheryl was going to take these back to Unst to be placed in the kiln after we had chosen a white or clear backing and added the hanging wires if we wished. They would be brought back down to be picked up from a shop in Lerwick  later in the week. 
This was something completely different but very enjoyable and I would do the class again. 
Completed glass panels

There was now a swift turn round as we were booked into The String for dinner and would then return to the Museum so that both of us could attend Elizabeth’s talk ‘Shetland and Fair Isle Patterns, Differences and Connections’. 
Michael wore his new fair isle jumper for today. As previously he received compliments and has been photographed in it. I plan to do a post just about this later, it involved my first use of a jumper board. 

As one would expect the lecture theatre was full and to me this was one of the best Patron’s lectures. We heard about Elizabeth’s Shetland knitting life but also about her spinning, dyeing and weaving. This included some of her past research, her analysis and about some of her current interests. To me it was a ‘full’ talk and was very thought provoking. 

Another brilliant day. 

(1) Hay’s Dock Restaurant ceased trading at the beginning of November 2018. This is a great pity as it it was a wonderful venue and we have enjoyed many meals there. A number of new restaurants have opened in the town and this is thought to have affected their trade. Sad News.  

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