A certain amount of exuberance remains, even writing so late.
B. has bought the “Tannehill” madtosh DK and shipped it off to my sister. Grand news.
Flipboard included me yesterday, perhaps because I had included a plug for them. I am grateful to them, not for that, but for directing me to Ella Gordon’s blog entry about the conference at the Lerwick Museum last Saturday.
She muses about “authenticity”. Ella Gordon is undoubtedly “authentic”. She was in the shop – Jamieson & Smith, of course – that wonderful day when I was there, but I scarcely spoke to her, being so overwhelmed by having actually spoken to Oliver Henry and by the whole experience. And she says, in effect, that you don’t have to be as authentic as she is, to be authentic – Sarah Don and Gladys Amedro and Sharon Miller and Kate Davies and (I will have to include) Susan Crawford and even you and I, are authentic if we are publishing or knitting a Shetland pattern with love and not just exploiting the name.
I had not really thought about it before – all those are the names of outsiders. Of them, only Amedro even lived on Shetland. And I had also not reflected on the fact that the recent “Legacy of Shetland Lace” which Ella mentions, is something of a breakthrough in the fact that it is a book of Shetland patterns by Shetlanders.
But apart from all that, there are two things I want you to notice in Ella’s blog. One is the picture she includes of the little girl with her knitting and her cat. I had seen it before. It is enchanting. But now that I am living with a cat again, I looked at the picture again: that is a real Shetland cat. It knows that you don’t interfere with knitting, if you are a cat. You don’t even think about it.
And the other thing is the link Ella provides at the end to Kate Davies’ essay about Mrs Gaugain, written back when KD was a mere university lecturer in history rather than an internationally-known knitwear designer. The Dean Cemetery is not far from here. I must try to find the grave.
The other thing that filled me with enthusiasm yesterday morning was KD’s appeal for people who had knit a Paton’s leaflet from the 50’s of a Shetland shawl designed by Mrs Hunter of Unst. I knit it for Rachel, in the months before she was born. I emailed KD to this effect. I was touched to see your comment on her blog entry, Knitlass, recalling the fact that I had mentioned it here on my blog.
And I was horrified to discover that the pattern itself is not where I thought it was, inside Amedro’s “Shetland Lace”. Where could it possibly be? And another even more distressing knitting loss was discovered yesterday. More to follow.