I've seen the Shetland Islands described as "the crossroads of the northern seas". This statement is certainly borne out by reading more of the newsletters of the Shetland Guild--about the diverse groups who've come to the area and make a visit to the Guild a priority. (If anyone wants to take out a membership to the newsletter, it's 15.00 UKL/per year. Just email me and I'll send you the contact details. firstname.lastname@example.org )
An item I'd missed before was another reference to our group's visit last year. (http://www.joycejamestours.com/)
This is what they said: "Joyce brought a group of American and Canadian craftworkers to the Germatwatt Centre. There was plenty of 'makkin and yakkin' and Joyce brought another generous donation from our American friends to the Textile Museum." (Anyone whose come on the tours will endorse that a lot of 'yakkin' goes on!) That particular donation refers to the money sent by attendees at the Madrona Fiber Festival held each February in Tacoma, WA.
Last summer they had two separate groups from Norway. These visits provided an exchange of traditional skills as the Norwegians brought their knitting, felting and weaving, and the Shetlanders reciprocated with a display of their fine lace and Fair Isle knitting. Karin, the tour organizer has a website: http://www.karinflatoysvarstad.com/. During one of Karin's visits she gave two felting workshops. There are detailed instructions and a number of photographs of the beautiful felted flowers in the newsletter.
In September 2009, the Guild hosted a group of Japanese. One of the group, Fumiko Ueda is a member of the Guild and had visited Shetland before. She brought along two items which she had exhibited in the 2009 Highland Show: a stole which took the "Best Overall Exhibit" and a photo of her Fair Isle knitting, which won a first prize. The group had a busy several days visiting the Shetland Museum and a number of accomplished textile experts on the island.
Update on Piecework Blanket: All I have left to do is to back the blanket with flannelette. Will go to buy some today. Next project is one of Lucy Neatby's designs, the Rainbow Sheep Sweater. People who know me will have heard about this for a number of years--translation 'too many years'! It's had a chequered history--not at all the fault of the design--but I'm determined to complete it this time. I'll concentrate carefully on my gauge. It won't be something I can easily pick up and work on while I watch TV, but as knitters know, that's not a hardship.