Wednesday 16 September 2015

Shetland Wool Week Annual 2015 Review

Image courtesy of Shetland Wool Week
Visiting the Scottish island of Shetland during wool week is on many a knitter's a wish list. With its rich textile traditions paired with modern pattern designers the island's creative industries are flourishing, and how better to immerse yourself in them than by taking a class and seeing the best of what wool week has to offer?

Sadly Shetland is not a cheap place to stay and the expense of flights on top of accommodation can push a trip out of people's price range. This year, however, Shetland Wool Week is publishing an annual available to anyone, whether you can attend the festivities or not. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy and, when opening the pages, I instantly got a feel of the knitting delights Shetland has to offer.

Now the last time I read an annual it was Smash Hits! in the late 1980s. This annual is nothing like my adolescent counterparts. It's A5 size, printed on lovely paper with many well-shot colourful photos, and there's absolutely no reference to Madonna and Wham! whatsoever.

The publishers have included articles and patterns from some of the island's greatest knitting names, such as Ella Gordon, Gudrun Johnston (better known as The Shetland Trader) and Hazel Tindall. This year's Shetland Wool Week patron is Donna Smith and she writes the introduction to the annual. She also designed the Baa-ble hat to promote this year's event. The pattern is in the annual and is also available as a free download on the Shetland Wool Week website.

My favourite of the patterns, although they are all gorgeous with a distinctive Shetland design twist, is Gudrun Johnston's Belmont cardigan. It's feminine, cosy and very, very covetable.

The articles are very stimulating, particularly the feature about the role of Shetland women in World War One.

The annual is available to buy from today, 16th September, and costs £9.99 plus £1 postage and packing to the UK. The postage cost is more for overseas orders. Buy your copy from Shetland Wool Week. I shall certainly knit at least one pattern from the annual, once the current projects I'm working on are finished, and I'll enjoy keeping it to browse through the articles at leisure. I hope that a 2016 annual will be published next year too.

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