Monday 28 October 2019

Review Of Shetland Wool Week Annual 2019

Image courtesy of Shetland Wool Week
This year's Shetland Wool Week was another success attracting visitors from all around the world to the small Scottish island renowned for its woolly heritage.

For those of us who didn't get a chance or couldn't afford to go there the Shetland Wool Week Annual 2019,  priced at £24 plus P&P, is a great souvenir and opportunity for a spot of armchair travelling. A Woolly Yarn received a review copy but all opinions are our own.

As well as containing 16 patterns inspired by Shetland (15 are knitting and one, by Marie Wallin, is crochet) the annual celebrates the tenth anniversary of Wool Week. An article looks into the history of official hat pattern releases for the festival - this year's is Oliver Henry's Roadside Beanie -
there's a left of support from HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothsay, who initiated the Campaign for Wool.

Image courtesy of Oliver Henry and Sandra Manson
Sumptuous photography, not only of the garments and accessories included in the patterns but also of scenes around Shetland, really give the reader a feel of the islands. There are also four features covering native sheep, Fair Isle knitting, natural dyes and how the landscape inspires craft.

The most familiar pattern in the annual, because it was released back in March to promote this year's Wool Week, is this year's patron Oliver Henry's Roadside Beanie. It's knitted using Jamieson and Smith's 2ply jumper weight wool.

Henry explained the inspiration for the hat: "My roadside beanie features two common roadside sights in Shetland: Shetland sheep and fishing boats. Both of them have loomed large in my life as a Shetlander."

The annual contains two more hat patterns to choose from: Felicity Ford's Shetland Muse

Image courtesy of Felicity Ford
and the Stavaness Toorie by Terri Malcolmson.

Image courtesy of Terri Malcolmson
If you have something to keep your head warm you'll also be wanting to keep your hands warm too. The Annual has three options, my favourite being Donna Smith's Nancy's Gloves.

Image courtesy of Donna Smith

Shawls are intrinsic to Shetland's knitting history and The Annual contains patterns for two plus one for a stole. Of course Fair Isle and stranded colourwork techniques are also synonymous with the islands.

Linda Shearer's Bonhoga Cardigan (meaning place of one's childhood') will test knitters' skills with its modern twist on a vintage 1950s-60s design.

Image courtesy of Linda Shearer
Ella Gordon's Mattie Yoke is a child's jumper with colours and motifs inspired by Taatit rugs - traditional pile bedcovers of Shetland.

Image courtesy of Ella Gordon
All the garments and accessories featured in Shetland Wool Week Annual 2019 are available to see on Ravelry.

The Annual is a great keepsake. Which pattern do you want to knit first? Let us know in the comments below or on A Woolly Yarn's Facebook page.

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