Friday, September 27, 2013

What’s Actually Happening

Thomas and Lucy, newly-affianced, have returned from a trip to China. Yesterday I wrote to Lucy asking whether she’d like to wear the Princess shawl on her wedding day.

And as for knitting – I cast on the Milano before I went to Shetland, you may remember. The first instruction is to knit 2" of k1p1 rib, and that’s what I’m doing. There are an awful lot of stitches. Once that’s done, and the next colour introduced, I think I may drift off into Multiple WIP-ery. I brought back more than enough yarn for the rest of my life – even if I didn’t have a stash already.

Shetland Day-by-Day

Unst, was the plan, but the weather forecast was grim, and I was a bit anxious because there are fewer ferries on a Sunday. To get to Unst, you drive the length of the Mainland, then get a ferry to Yell, drive across Yell, and get another ferry to Unst. So we worked out a couple of alternative plans.

But Sunday dawned not bad at all, and Kristie is quietly intrepid. Off we went. And, as Kate Davies had predicted, the ferries were waiting for us and it all went smoothly. 

Kate had introduced us (electronically) to Rhoda Hughson, who used to be Britain’s most northerly headmistress. When the school closed, the building became the Unst Heritage Centre.

Kate told us that Rhoda is a good egg, and so she proved to be, cheerfully giving up Sunday afternoon to show us her treasures. Lace was the main attraction, of course, but we also saw some colour knitting. I said something about liking patterns like this one

which have a vertical effect as an alternative to the endless horizontal stripes. But Rhoda said she regarded that sort of pattern as Scandinavian – endless horizontal stripes are the real Fair Isle thing. And when someone says something like that to you while you're standing on the island of Unst, you listen. 

One of the pieces of lace in the collection had an interesting red border. It is somewhat broken and frayed, and Rhoda has boldly snipped a tiny, tiny fragment of the red yarn, already exposed,  and sent it off for analysis – how was the colour produced?

When we left, we had time to drive to a vantage point from which we could see the Muckle Flugga lighthouse, the most northerly point in Great Britain. And we also managed a quick visit to Muness Castle.

Then back to Burrastow for another of Pierre's remarkable meals.

Tomorrow -- Jamieson & Smith!


  1. Oooh this is lovely, like a trip to Shetland without leaving my chair :-) I adore the different place names and words. Very topical too as I've spent today poring over the Jamieson's spindrift colour chart to choose colours for my dad's long wished for Fair Isle sweater

  2. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Did you watch this TV program which was broadcast last monday while you were in Shetland?