Sunday, 24 November 2019

Shetland Wool Week 19: 6 More knitting, more birds

Tues Sept 24 Day 9

It was an unseasonably warm night and at 6.00 the van was showing it was 12 C outside. I was hoping this mildness indicated little or no wind and I could photograph my Dunella Shawl. My aim was to try and complete my practice piece mini hap. 

We had a leisurely start and planned to arrive in Haroldswick for 11.00 when Victoria’s Tea Rooms opens this time of year. We were there  ready and waiting. There was another couple and I assumed (wrongly) they were early wool weekers like us. However, they knew nothing about Wool Week and had arranged their own holiday. They were determined to get to Unst and caught the early bus and ferries up and had been dropped in Haroldswick and it was 5 hours before the next bus back. Once we got into  the teashop I managed to find an Unst leaflet and indicate some things they could do in the area. I think they were going to stretch their coffee out a bit as a start. 

I was pleased to be able to get soya cappuccino and the view was just as good as we remembered. We decided we would book lunch for Friday when I would definitely be back in the village as I would be spinning with the spinning and knitting ladies  at their  ‘Have a go with a wheel and knitting belt’ afternoon. 

Then it was on to the Heritage Centre and this time my guess that the lady who came in was a wool weeker was correct, in fact it was Jane of iG ‘Ithought I knew how’ and we had previously been in touch so I knew she was visiting Yell and Unst during the week before Wool Week. It was good to chat in person and not surprisingly we saw each other a few times during the week. 

Besides the usual exquisite lace knitting in the Museum section , the local ladies had mounted a display of patterns they (mainly Hazel Laurenson) had devised. These were for sale with examples of the actual knitting. These include a ‘new’ (as in not seen by me) little mat involving the knitting techniques of a bigger piece and another traditional Unst shawl/ scarf, this one being called the Norwick Shawl. I decided I would buy these. Mental note to self.....you need to get on knitting these or your eyes will give up before you make the set! 

I also bought some super cards showing the fine lace to send special people who I knew would really appreciate them. 



We both voted for lunch at Norwick beach again. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather look at as I knitted after lunch and M was more than happy to use it as a base for birding after he had eaten. 


The knitting went well and all I was left with was grafting the middle border to wedge 1. The middle piece is worked from the inner edge of wedge 4 and wedge 2 and 3 are added as the centre is being knitted. This  just leaves  the

 inner edge of border 1 to be grafted to the stitches remaining from the centre border.  It has been a great learning piece and has helped to hone  my eye in as I look at other Shawls.  However as a way of completing a shawl I am not convinced it is for me, I had failed despite counting everything I thought  to get the joins of the wedges at the corners of the centre. Also there are too many opportunities  for loose stitches this way and I noticed the ‘square’ in the middle is rectangular. (More about this later). Perhaps blocking would  improve the look of it. At the moment this shawl does not suit my perfectionist streak. I am not happy with it, but I have posted it here as my comments may also help someone else Next time it needs to be much bigger but as I said before a great learning piece. 


The now completed mini hap 




We went home via Skiboul stores, the majority of the shop is a grocery store with chiller and freezer cabinets, veg and fruit and the bakery. So having chosen a quiche - to help with lunches, Danish pastries for afternoon tea and a trifle for ‘pudding’ with dinner - we were set up. (We don’t normally do pudding with dinner but feel we use more energy living in the van, compared to being at home - well that is the excuse. ) The bonus was we saw 2 red-breasted mergansers in the water in front of the shop. 


Dinner was great, Donald joined us so we could swap bird notes, although this was very one sided. Donald is a serious and knowledgeable birder who was staying at the hostel. 

Another great day with the promise of an even more interesting Wednesday. 


Needless to say it was not still enough at any time during the day to photograph the Dunella shawl. 


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