Saturday, September 08, 2018

Great news! Joyce, having read last night’s blog, sent me the link to – and I have booked my place for 15-20 May next year. Anybody want to join me? If I were spry-er, I would choose their knitting-and-hiking alternative, but I’m not, and this will do fine.

They offer all that Mucklestone and Johnston offer, except those ladies themselves, and Burrastow. The first is a loss. I would like to be acquainted with both. Burrastow is a loss, too, but it’s way out in the glorious back of beyond, 10 or 12 miles from Lerwick. It will be more convenient to be in town, and good food is specifically promised – the food at Burrastow is splendid.

My next, delightful, problem is how to get there. I want to go by land. Kristie and Kath and I couldn’t spare the time. But it looks easy. Trains from Edinburgh to Aberdeen are a good deal quicker than Edinburgh to Oban (for my cruise last summer) – and the station is near the ferry terminal. And the ferry goes into Lerwick, whereas the airport is some distance away. If I can’t walk to our b&b (Lerwick is compact) there must be taxis of some sort.

The “adventure” includes Unst – I wouldn’t have wanted to go without that. I hope I can persuade them to let us have a glimpse of Muckle Flugga. It may not be possible – I gather that the RAF station on the northern tip of the island, deserted when Kristie and Kath and I were there, has been re-occupied. The splendid lighthouse of Muckle Flugga is on a tiny inhospitable island of its own, beyond. (How on earth did the clever Victorians build it?) Kath is not a knitter, and had been very patient with me and Kristie. I thought I could indulge them in a lighthouse – not a passion I share – for half an hour. The memory is a highlight of that memorable weekend.

And life here at home has not been entirely without excitement, either. I have joined the sleeves to the body of the Kirigami without any egregious mistakes as far as I can see so far. Much counting, and everything is all right on that front. Next come quite a few short rows, all across the back and around the shoulders – “like a hug”, as Amy Detjen engagingly says in her Craftsy class. There are lots of stitches. That will take a while, before the real fun begins.

And on top of all that, Norah Gaughan’s “40 Timeless Knits” has arrived. It is my policy here in later life not to buy books of patterns, with a few exceptions – EZ and daughter Meg; Kaffe; Kate Davies; Starmore (although I’ve never knit a Starmore); Mary Lou Egan. I have added Gaughan to the list. I haven’t had time to wallow in it yet. It looks wonderful. Astonishingly, all the photographs but one, she says, are old. Timeless, indeed.


  1. Three friends and I visited Shetland this past summer under the auspices of Shetland Wool Adventures and we can all attest it was a fantastic trip. The food was, indeed, spectacular, the classes fun, the trips around Shetland spectacular. One of our party has already signed on for one of the knitting/hiking tours next May. Coming from the US, we decided to spend a few days in Scotland after our Shetland trip concluded. We spent a very hot July day in Edinburgh, and thanks to reading your blog, we made our way to Kathy's Knits and had an enjoyable hour or so speaking with Cathy and buying even more yarn to squeeze into our suitcases. Hope you enjoy your trip as much as we did.

  2. Ah, you give me hope yet. I do so want to visit Shetland. Hiking is impossible for me but the rest...ooooh.
    But, I have to be amused at the idea that something ten or twelve miles out of town is in the "back of beyond" - that is almost next door in Downunder!

  3. =Tamar4:05 AM

    Hooray for having arrangements made!

  4. I enjoyed travelling to Shetland by ferry. The last time was a few years ago and I remember it as a reasonable walk from train to boat in Aberdeen especially as you will have luggage but there are always taxis.
    I liked the unhurried nature of the ferry. You can board early and there is no great rush to leave the boat when you get to Lerwick. My favourite memory has to be standing on the deck early on a sunny morning looking at the coastline from Sumburgh to Lerwick - a good way to start a holiday.

  5. Anonymous11:44 AM

    What a wonderful exciting trip. -- and less than 10 months from now. When it is over a year it can seem like forever. But May is practically around the corner. Does Alice Starmore have a quick knit accessory you can whittle away at while you are dreaming about your trip? Chloe

  6. Sounds like a great trip, and oooh, new Gaughin book! I'm currently knitting an old pattern of hers, the Cabaret Raglan (adjusted to be made in the round). Much of her stuff really holds up well over time, they're classic-looking and very very clever.

  7. Sounds like you are in for a delightful time! I am enjoying your travels vicariously as I sit here in the middle of Maryland in the middle of the Atlantic Coast in the US. Your blog is indeed one of the better things about the internet:)!