Wednesday 10 September 2014

The Scottish Independence Referendum Debate

I'm English through and through. As far as my family knows our ancestors were English working people, tilling the land, gardeners, or doing whatever they could to make a living. Despite my lack of Scottish heritage I've been keenly following the run up to the Scottish referendum for independence, which will take place on 18th September. I have Scottish friends who moved to England and English friends who moved to Scotland. Life in the 21st century in Britain is very much a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures.

Scottish Blackface Sheep
It's up to Scottish people to decide their own future. I, however, would be very sad to see Scotland go it alone and break away from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have a shared culture, history and purpose that comes from living on the same island in the north of Europe. Together we are stronger and more tolerant.

Knitting-wise I've very much been influenced by techniques hailing from Scotland such as fair isle and the knitted gansey. Way back when I was a young child we went on a family holiday to visit friends in the Shetland Islands and I remember then loving the sheep in the landscape and all the knitwear in the shops. It's one of my ambitions to go back during Shetland Wool Week.

There are also some wonderful wool shops in Scotland I've heard of and are on my 'all the best yarn shops I've never visited' list. Take, for example, Ginger Twist Studios, an indie yarn shop. Their selection of hand-dyed yarn looks extremely tempting.

I don't want to see border posts in between England and Scotland, or a rise in nasty nationalism on either side. The decision is in the Scottish people's hands, but the outcome of voting on 18th September will affect all of us in the UK.

What should be my blog's tag line if Scotland does go independent? An amusing note amongst a serious online article about what the UK could be called without Scotland suggested the 'former UK' until it realised the unfortunate abbreviation. Whatever happens, I'll still go on championing yarn and designers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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