Thursday, 30 January 2020

Shetland Wool Week 19: 18 Brae Teas

Sunday Oct 6: Day 21 

The second Sunday of Wool Week is one of my favourite days. It is so nice to see and talk to members of Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers  with their exhibition at Brae in what is called a Sunday tea in Shetland. 

Visitors are able to look at some of the wonderful knitwear the Guild members have made during the year and usually there is an opportunity to buy some items directly from the  makers. If this wasn’t enough some of the members would be spinning and knitting and of course there were the teas! On top of this , was the opportunity to talk to some of the members who over the years I feel I have got know as we have discussed either their knitting or my natural dyeing or knitting.  Then of course there was the chance to say good bye to fellow wool week attendees. 

But last year and this the Galley shed and the youth centre were open too. There were other craftspeople with quite a wide variety of crafts at a Makers’ Market in the Youth Centre. One lady was selling yarn and I took the opportunity to buy some Green Shetland yarn.  Whatever shade of green I have it seems never to be the shade I need! Bunchy, alias Spindrift Crafts, had a stall too so it was a great opportunity to talk to her about Natural Dyeing, to tell her how much I was enjoying her book and how good it is to see her iG posts about dyeing through  the year. (1)

The Galley shed besides having an Up-Helly-Aa exhibition also had a scissor sharpener, but unfortunately I had not brought the scissors  that could have benefitted with me! 

Once the Guild Teas were open we decided  we would have an early tea as we had just had a snack lunch. The Guild work so hard for this afternoon, the kitchen had many members adding more food, washing up etc and the tea and coffee ladies who fill the cups at the table were offering drinks to visitors throughout the afternoon. It is a tremendous task they take on. I am a member of a Guild in East Anglia and I can’t think we would believe we could manage anything on this scale. Shetland Guild need recognition nationally for what they do on this day in my opinion. Of course many of them have already had a busy week running classes and the like. As last year the Northmavine Fiddle and Accordion club provided traditional music on the stage. This is very  good too , with the bonus of seeing more Traditional Shetland Knitwear being worn. It was also entirely appropriate that there was an appeal for donations for the Peerie Makkers crowdfunding appeal, as this is a voluntary run scheme (2) so that more of the target age group can be involved and more of  Shetland can have a local group. The highlight of the day for me is twofold - seeing Shetland lace and Fair Isle  Knitting by Shetland designers and knitters and seeing the prizes they have won for these and being able to talk to them about what I feel is amazing knitwear. 

Part of Hazel’s display                                               Always something to learn from


For me personally it was a very enjoyable afternoon and it was an extra pleasure to meet again ladies from Unst who had organised a ‘day out’ to come to the Tea. 

We decided we would repeat our post Brae Teas experience with a trip to Eshaness. Last year it was really wild, but this year it was calmer and the sun was still out (just) and the views were stunning. It was good to be here again. 

As we drove back the sun was setting and around every corner there seemed another spectacular view. We had in mind to stop at Frankie’s for a Fish and Chip supper and so didn’t want to get too late. I just took photos with my iPad but made a note to myself that if the weather is like this next year I must make time to get the proper camera out with the tripod and filters for some truly spectacular shots. 

sunset over Frankie’s

So back to the campsite and the end of wool week organised activities, but we had another couple of days to begin to unwind and do last minute essential Shetland shopping. 

  1. I understand from someone who went to Bunchy’s workshop “ about Natural Dye plants and make a ‘colours of Shetland’ sample cushion” that it was very good too. 
  2. You can find out more about they young Shetland Knitters on the fb page ShetlandPeerieMakkers

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