A good yarn can describe a well-told story or knitting wool and both are appreciated just as much here in the Shetland Islands. It is not uncommon to see regular gatherings advertised where people can meet together to chat to each other while they work on their latest knitting projects. Multitasking at its finest, as stories are woven into the conversation like the patterns formed with coloured strands of wool. These can range from the muted, natural colours of the native sheep to a kaleidoscope of colour in every hue imaginable. Many books have been written on the subject, whether it is lace knitting or Fair Isle, and there is an abundance of ideas for all ages and abilities when it comes to choosing something suitable to create with your own hands. Knitting is also very relaxing, even on holiday.
This month, a group of keen knitters from the Netherlands are staying at the Chalets as a direct result of attending Shetland Wool Week last year. For the past eight years, this event has been held in September for the purpose of promoting Shetland wool and all the many ways it can be utilised. Classes and workshops are offered in spinning, dyeing, weaving and knitting involving local crafters and producers, all experts in their area of interest. Visits are also organised to various places where the wool is produced and processed into yarn. For example, just along the hill to the south of Easterhoull, is Uradale Organic Farm, where organic wool is obtained from their flock of native sheep. Wool Week has become such a popular, international event now that bookings are being made a year in advance so, if you would like to experience it for yourselves, please don’t delay and book early to avoid disappointment.