Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Shetland Wool Week 19: 3 Lerwick to Unst

Sat 21 Sept : Day 6 

It was a very pleasant calm crossing. We are by nature early risers so going to breakfast for 6.30 was no hardship. We enjoyed eating breakfast, which included some lovely fresh autumnal fruits, as we looked out over the Shetland coastline. The lounge became busy and we invited two ladies to join us at our table. This became an opportunity to talk Shetland Knitting as one, on her way home to Tronda, was wearing a gorgeous all over Fair Isle cardigan which was knitted by a friend many years ago (although it looked as though it was newly knitted!). This is one of the nice things about Shetland, talking to anyone about knitting, and it was a great start to what would become a lovely day. 

As usual we popped down to Tesco to pick up some provisions to get us over the weekend in Unst. We used the opportunity to check emails- I carry a 4G mobile WiFi but not surprisingly even that struggles on the ferry! However, we could not find Michael’s ipad and realised we had to return to the ferry to see if in the fuss with my finger last night we had left it in the cabin somewhere. (1) 

The iPad was found and I gave a sigh of relief, knowing how much we have come to use these for so many varied tasks. 

We returned to the middle of Lerwick and parked on the quay, it was time for a real treat- a visit to the Shetland Bookshop where I had promised myself a copy of volume 2 of the Shetland Guild of Weavers, Spinners, Knitters and Dyers latest book of Fair Isle Knits. On a brief glance this one looked fascinating as the first section described  the setting up and history of the guild and a question and answer session with some of the members of the guild on knitting techniques with the second section containing a wide variety of Fair Isle patterns. Just as volume one it was well illustrated. Michael  bought Thin Air from the Shetland  series by Anne Cleeves, this will complete his set. I wondered how many days this would last him! 

We needed a coffee and made for the Dowry, which was busy but we did manage to move to a favourite window seat overlooking the quay. 

You will notice I have not mentioned the burnt finger. I had no pain when I woke up and decided I did not need to bother A and E as it must be a lot better. My plan was to visit Boots and hopefully buy a finger bandage or two ! This we did after coffee and then I would force myself to look at the damage I had done. It didn’t look infected, our make do dressing had worked, so I now just had to hope it would recover enough to enable me to knit and  spin in a day or so.

We had more shopping to do in Lerwick, a visit to Jamieson’s was needed. I really liked the Spindrift grey (granite) that I had knitted the yoked jumper in (post of 19Sept19). I thought if I ordered a cone I could pick it up and take it back with me, saving postage. Unfortunately this would normally be the case but Shetland Wool Week would be far from normal conditions. I understood this and ordered one nevertheless and as I was in the UK, if it was not ready in a fortnight and 3 days it would be posted on for no additional cost. I thought this was a generous offer. Whilst there I saw a book that had some nice contemporary designs and when you see a good book, imo, you need to get it ! Hence I became the proud owner of this. 

I had also seen another book in the Shetland Times bookshop and after consulting my library list (I have over 1000 textile related books), it was not in my library so I was back to the bookshop to get that. We also decided to purchase the excellent Shetland Geology book as this is something we are both interested in. I went in on my own and had an interesting conversation with the lady serving me who told me they had just had a man in the shop wearing a striking wool week hat - yes it turned out to be DH. I felt obliged to show her a photo of my more refined hat, so then we chatted about natural dyeing too.

So our final collection from the bookshop was this:

Needless to say M thought I had got lost and was getting anxious we would not have time to get lunch before the ferry to Yell. We popped into Harry’s and managed to get a new step for the van, but the fan heater would have to wait until we were in Unst. (2) 

We made it to the ferry and quickly made lunch enjoying the view over the beautifully blue sea. 

After some discussion we decided to leave looking at the exhibition at Burravoe until later and drive straight through Yell to Unst. 

The view from the ferry  to Unst was as good as ever, the weather was lovely although it was colder than further south and the sea was getting a bit wavy! 

We arrived at our stop for the week which looked just as beautiful as when we left it last year. 

We parked the van and were followed in by another van and to our surprise if was driven by Kate, who lives within striking distance of home. Needless to say we had not seen each other since SWW last year. We had much to catch up on and were pleased we were both in the same Advanced Lace Knitting class on the Monday during wool week. 

I settled down and experimented with joining by knitting on, working inwards a couple of wedges for the mini lace shawl I was going to re-do.

It had been a very happy day. 



  1. You can stay on  the ferry from Aberdeen having a leisurely breakfast until 9.30, or if you are the driver, take the vehicle off and return to the ferry for this. We made it with 10 minutes to spare. 
  2. The step collapsed at Hoddom and the fan heater needed replacing.

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