This week I received the most recent issue (Winter 2010) of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers. It's always a joy to read--with news of their activities, photos of the winning entries in a Guild competition and even an advertisement for knitters who are willing to knit Fair Isle garments. One company, Thistle and Broom indicated they would pay "from 290.00 GBP per jumper and from 130.00 GBP per slipover/waistcoat per bespoke order of your original work". It didn't indicate who supplied the yarn. I wonder if they've received any/many takers. Apparently, the Shetland Wool Brokers are advertising for knitters too.
Yesterday, I had a disturbing email from a member of the Guild to tell me that Bess Jamieson had had a heart attack while visiting her sister in New Zealand. As many of you know, I met Bess when I went to Shetland on my own in 1995, to see if I could plan a group tour. (As I've frequently said, I should have gone right out and bought a lottery ticket, as I had good karma going for me!) Bess was a wonderful source of people to visit and opened many doors for me and our groups, which greatly enhanced our enjoyment of this wonderful area. (One example: before the first tour, Bess spoke to Jimmy Work to ask if he would let us visit him--apparently he doesn't let everyone! This resulted in memorable visits to his home and also many of his wonderful baskets finding new homes in North America.)
I don't know how serious Bess's situation is, but her sister is also a retired nurse, so know she will be getting the best of care. She is a wonderful friend and I have never been to Shetland that Bess didn't have a bouquet of flowers from her garden, waiting in my hotel room. Her talents are amazing--as a spinner, weaver and knitter--and her commitment to the Guild and to the textile arts on Shetland is endless.
Don't forget that that Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, 13 March @ 2:00 a.m. (I'm not sure if all American states observe DST, but Saskatchewan is the only Canadian province which follows Standard Time throughout the year.)