Wednesday, August 20, 2014

shetland ~ fair isle

hello and if you are new here welcome welcome! this is the third, no, fourth, posting i've made on our group's grand adventure to the shetland islands. up till now we've seen puffins, and ponies and sheep! discovered our home away from home for the next week, visited jamieson & smith, saw an otter! continuing on...

...before we leave for our first field trip, i wanted to share some of the lovely local people we met at burrastow house. ted and nancy had come for dinner at the b & b and we were sharing an intimate dining room together. when ted saw our cameras he insisted his wife show us her beautiful photos of a recent simmer dim, the magic twilight time here in the far north. well done nancy, gorgeous!

in our caravan now, with sorley our trusty driver, these are the views we were treated to everywhere we went in shetland

hay's dock, lerwick and the shetland museum and archives (directly behind me)

we had an agreed upon time to wander on our own, before meeting back. 

oh my goodness

shetland otters are twice as big as ours!

from the museum ...Fair Isle knitwear is the most famous product of these islands. However, many people might not know what “real” Fair Isle is. Our collection has examples, from pre-commercial garments c.1870, to the ever-changing fashion item of the 20th century. The museum has samples from knitwear’s sudden popularity in the 1920s, through later style changes, to machine-made items from the 1960s. Besides clothing, we hold textile tools, like equipment for dyeing, knitting and finishing....

instagraming the museum

afterwards, we enjoyed a waterfront lunch

lovely kathy cadigan, hay's dock, lerwick

back to burrastow and time for an explore before our evenings exciting plans

there may have been some beer sampling in our room

i went out for a wander

(doing my best not to disturb the nearby nesting arctic terns)

...meanwhile the weather was becoming blustery and darkening. i saw a peerie car driving down the hill, towards burrastow house. we are quite remote here, who is coming for a visit?

it is our distinguished guest! it is hazel tindell! hazel is the ambassador of wool week 2014 and has been named the patron of this year's event. her website seems to be down at the moment, but to learn more about this fascinating woman (she has the distinction of being the world's fastest knitter) go to hazel tindall or her raverly group here. and look at her beautiful fair isle jumper! (please note maryjanes lopapeysa too, it was gorgeous).

we gathered in the cozy sitting room (shetland ponies grazing outside the window) while hazel shared many of her samples and a bit of her (vast) knowledge on knitting and specifically fair isle

we were treated to a live demonstration of a steek

and the correct use of a knitting belt (commonly used in shetland)

afterwards, we retired to the conservatory (hee hee) for more instruction

gudrun johnston ~ hazel tindell ~ maryjane mucklestone

i've been sharing a little of my journal in these posts per requests. when traveling i like to bring a small flower press to save (only what is allowed) tiny petals, leaves and grasses

these small bits are ready to add to my book.

 farewell from the shetland islands, until next time! xxx lori

Saturday, August 16, 2014

on the street, NYC

image by Scott Schuman

a brief interruption in the sharing of shetland.
 yesterday this happened: my girl was photographed, again, by Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist!! 

and here is what i (her proud mama) did all day, to anyone and everyone i shared (forced) this exciting news. thank you scott, our entire family was thrilled and love the photograph (thank you to the other kind 13,000 +  on instagram that liked it too). and as scott's probably learned by now, she is as beautiful and sweet, on the inside.
xxx lori

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


the adventure continues!...after arriving to burrastow house we spent our first hours getting to know each other and our surroundings...

  we met the host and chef extraordinaire of burrastow, pierre

a newly married couple arrived to have their wedding photos taken at burrastow

our first evening, we gathered for an informational talk by our lovely tour leaders, gudrun johnston and maryjane mucklestone. they had a surprise for us, in the kishie (basket) on the table were hand made project bags filled with special treats! the fabric of the bags is so cute, it's of knitted fair isle sweaters! 

jumping ahead, sorley, our driver extraordinaire (and gudrun's lovely brother) made a special stop so i could get this photo. i saw a shetland otter!

my very first morning, i woke so excited, at 4am, the sun was already high in the sky. i ran to my window and couldn't believe my eyes!! there was an otter swimming in our bay. i grabbed my camera and tiptoeing out the room and down the stairs, still in my pajamas!

i remembered reading simon king's 'shetland diaries' book, he talked about how timid the otters are here. it's important they don't see you, or even smell you. oh dear, which way was the wind blowing? i couldn't tell, so i crept behind the low wall surrounding burrastow house. coming closer to mr. otter. i stealthily peeked over the wall and watched as he exited the water scampering up on to a pile of rocks and seaweed...

carrying a large fish in his mouth! i could hear him feeding on the fish, tearing it apart with his sharp teeth. forgetting the rules, in my excitement i stood up and immediately knew my mistake. mr. otter dropped his meal, turned and bolted back to the sea...

and then he watched, cautiously (curiously?), before swimming out of our voe and into another around the bend. it was the only time this trip i would see one, but i saw one! and saw the otter sign too!

artic terns here on their migration, i love these birds so much...

time for our first field trip! our trusty ride, driven by sorley, gudrun's brother. (thank you again sorley!)

on the way to...


waiting for a tour with oliver henry!

the master of jamieson & smith shetland fleece

explaining the sorting process

lovely pat admiring a peerie fair isle jumper (look at the gorgeous vest she made!)

tour is over, back in the shop for our lace knitting class with elizabeth johnston! and look who's here! it's friends sandra manson and ella gordon! eek! very excited to see them both!

 i tried on sandras sample cardigan, hairst, and bought the pattern :)

kate davies! 

time to leave, our visit to jamieson & smith was a highlight for all of us i think (we actually returned 3 times!)

 some have asked to see my journal, i have no idea how to share, so here is just a glimpse inside...

just like this post, it's incomplete. there really was no way to document all the wonderful things that happened on this trip. i tried my best though, filled almost ninety pages! i didn't add the photos of the second part of this days field trip to this post, the textile museum (for fear of the post becoming too long). oh dear. if there is still an interest, i'll keep sharing! there is a LOT more!

bye for now! xxx lori