Wednesday 11 October 2017

Shetland Wool Week Annual 2017 Review

Image courtesy of Shetland Wool Week
Shetland Wool Week 2017 may be over but it won't be forgotten thanks to the keepsake annual published to mark the occasion. Our excitement at receiving a review copy in the post was akin to that of finding a Bunty annual in our Christmas stockings aged eight.

The annual is a celebration of all things woolly in Shetland, the island off the north coast of Scotland, and contains a keepsake mixture of patterns, essays and book reviews.

The articles will keep the reader coming back again and again to the annual with their fascinating social history topics including knitting for men; the life of Arthur Anderson who founded the P&O shipping line and championed Shetland's textile industry; a look back at 50 years of Victoria Gibson's designs; rooming - the Shetland method of plucking fleece from sheep; and the renovation of a tweed-weaving building in Hillswick, once the centre of Shetland textile production.
Bousta Beanie image courtesy of Gudrun Johnston

Each year Shetland Wool Week chooses a patron who designs a pattern especially for the event. This year's patron is Gudrun Johnston, perhaps better The Shetland Trader. Her Bousta Beanie is the annual's first pattern. She says "The Bousta Beanie uses three colours combined to great effect within a simple Fair Isle pattern. What with all the colours available in Shetland Yarn, the possibilities are endless!"

There are 12 patterns in all in annual, designed by Shetland locals and other designers who have an affinity with the island's wool.
Tveir Gloves image courtesy of Ella Gordon

Stand out patterns include Terri Malcolmson's Triple Tone Circular Scarf, described as 'an enjoyable project for anyone new to Fair Isle and colourwork'; Outi Kater's Rosepath Sweater that's inspired by and named after a Nordic countries' folk weaving technique and is a warm cover up that if looked after will become an heirloom; and Ella Gordon's Tveir Fingerless Gloves that would be
easy to adapt to a full-fingered version. Says Gordon, "For somewhere with so few trees you often see them in Shetland knitwear, usually adorning a yoke but I decided to take the motif and use it on a pair of fingerless gloves. They are knit with an afterthought thumb using bright shades inspired by Autumn in Shetland.

The annual costs £18 plus P&P and is available online at the Shetland Wool Week shop. There are still a few copies of last year's annual left too.

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