Shetland Wool Week - as it happened

Friday Oct 30, 2015

This year during Shetland Wool Week we ran another full programme of classes in Hoswick - 'Hoswick Wool Week'!

We welcomed so many lovely, interesting people from all over the world, and of course lots of locals too, at our workshops in Hoswick, at the Visitor Centre.


Elizabeth and I would like to thank all of those involved. In no particular order... Samantha, Mavis, Amy, Katie, Kayleigh, Callie, Katrina, Megan, Willie, Mom, Martha, David, Wilma, Cecil, Anne, Kathleen, Rosemary, Cecil, Richard, Margaret, Vivienne, Julia, Anne, Janis, Selina, Joyce, Steve, the Sandwick wool week trolley dash kids, (and any who I may have inadvertently left out!) and lastly but most importantly - all our visitors.

Particular thanks to Samantha, our 'reporter at large', who very much captured the atmosphere of our Hoswick Wool Week - and kept our followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter up-to-date with pictures of all the activity.

Opening night

Shetland Wool Week began with a celebration in Lerwick, which featured a performance by Hjaltibonhoga. The fiddlers wore bespoke Nielanell knitwear, designed for their appearances at the 2014 and 2015 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Samantha managed to capture a little bit of them playing on video - what a sound...

Hjaltibonhoga fiddlers perform at the opening ceremony of Shetland Wool Week, wearing Nielanell Shetland knitwear

The fiddlers of Hjaltibonhoga, wearing bespoke Nielanell

Our classes in Hoswick

Tom of Holland during a fleece preparation workshop, Shetland

Fleece preparation

Tom (aka Tom of Holland) took part in our 'Which way?' fleece preparation class - where Elizabeth Johnston and I demonstrated our different approaches. 

Tom has shared pictures of the transformation of his batt into yarn. Look forward to seeing it knitted up...

Gudrun Johnston & Mary Jane Mucklestone in Hoswick, Shetland


Gudrun Johnston and Mary Jane Mucklestone waiting patiently for their group of 'artists', who were all enjoying themselves playing with paint brushes, dyes and wool. We love being on the itinerary for Gudrun and Mary Jane's Shetland trips.

A woman holds a hank of hand-dyed indigo yarn in Hoswick, Shetland

All the dye classes proved really popular again this year...

A machine knitting workshop at Hoswick Visitor Centre, Shetland

Technical skills

Improvers and beginners worked on their skills, with machine and hand-knitting on the go...

Cecil Tait of Paparwark, Shetland, showing how to whittle wood

It's not all about wool

Cecil Tait of Paparwark Furniture showed us how to make a shawl pin, with some 'simple' wood-whittling.

The perfect end to an inspiring week

Our 'At Peace' Sunday lunch and wooly free-for-all. Make sure to watch the video by Selina - Wool Week co-ordinator (THANK YOU for everything, Selina) - it features Martha and David's wonderful tunes.

Men handspinning wool, Hoswick, Shetland

One of the most endearing memories of the week was when I saw Rorie (now a Hoswick Wool Week regular) teaching his son how to spin. 

A woman handspins in Hoswick, Shetland, during Shetland Wool Week

Our new friend DJ - from Atlanta - who is now a converted 'Hoswick Girl'. DJ came to me for spinning lessons before wool week started - she thoroughly got into the swing of wool week in Hoswick and was down often. Welcome to our world, DJ!

With a huge THANK YOU to Rosemary, Cecil, Richard, and all the the visitor centre lasses who have ensured that the Visitor Centre is THE place to be for Shetland Wool Week.

And of course, THANKS to Joyce, who put on the most amazing spread for our lunch guests.

Nielanell knitwear studio shop, Hoswick, Shetland

Knitwear frenzy

Mom welcomed crowds to the studio shop

Pupils from Sandwick School at the Visitor Centre, Hoswick, Shetland, with Elizabeth Johnston

And finally...

Pupils from Sandwick school arrived with their decorated trolley, here Elizabeth explains what on earth we're all up to!

Further reading & listening

We've really enjoyed reading and hearing other perspectives on Wool Week. Here's a few that you might enjoy too:

Kate Davies, knitwear designer

Donna Smith, knitwear designer

Patron of Shetland Wool Week 2015

Louise Scollay, writer, podcaster, knitter

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