Saturday, October 23, 2010

News about Shetland

I love to hear people talk in detail about their travels and to see their photographs. However I know not everyone feels the same, so I'll give you a break from my Italian travelogue. Besides, as is evident, I have problems placing the photographs--they rarely go where I indicate and where I'd like. I'm going to work on Picasa again and see if I can do a better job than just clicking on the 'Image' icon on the toolbar.

Disappointing news was to learn that knitting will no longer be taught in the elementary schools on Shetland. Although knitting is still very important to the islands, there is an age group of young women who, although they know how to knit, do not or do very little. The economy of Shetland has changed greatly since the development of North Sea oil; before that they saw how hard their mothers and grandmothers worked (as a necessity) to produce complicated Fair Isle and Shetland lace projects, for very little compensation.

Consequently, the children on Shetland are not likely to gain knitting skills when they are young. The members in the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers work very hard to foster the traditions and to raise funds for a museum of their own. However they are all getting older (as are we all!) and it is difficult to attract younger members as many have full-time jobs, are looking after aged parents or have young children at home. I feel I can speak for all those who have come on the tours, that a visit with the guild members is one of the enduring high points of our travels. I have renewed my subscription to the Guild newsletter and really look forward to when one arrives. The membership secretary is Jennie Bradley and she can be reached by email at:

This week I received an e-newsletter about Shetland Hamefarin (Homecoming) which took place in June of this year. Have a look at:

Recently, I phoned to Shetland and was told that the person I had hoped to speak to "had gone to Scotland"! I always find it amusing how Shetlanders do not consider themselves as 'Scots'!

Apologies to those who are waiting for details of the 2011 Scottish Skeins Tour. Please bear with me that I am still waiting for confirmation of the domestic flights. It will be a great trip and I've included some variations in the itinerary from previous years. Please keep checking into my website: and I will be contacting each person on my mailing list as soon as registration is open.

1 comment:

Jon DiBenedetto said...

I hope to visit Scotland next Autumn & the knitting tour looks wonderful. I hope I am able to go on it! Oh & I didn't know Shetlanders did'nt consider themselves Scottish!