Friday morning both Pru & I got up bright and early to go for a long walk after a delicious breakfast of porridge, coffee, toast, marmalade and fruit.
We headed up the road past the shetland ponies and sheep, the boat on the inlet and the red phone box. Continued along the road and round until we came across some sheep and an old falling down croft – the red route is what we took in the am.
Everyone arrived after around lunch time and after sandwiches we all headed off for a long walk – this is the orange walk. It was fairly easy going and about 1/2 way a few people headed back to the house whilst the rest of us with Mary Jane continued and made a loop back again tracing back out route from the morning. We saw the island Foula in the distance – which we incorrectly labeled Ham on our instagram photos that day – Ham is on the island. We were serenaded by seals on the way which was quite special, again saw lots of sheep. There are over 200,000 sheep on Shetland and under 30,000 people a fair ratio if you ask me.
Dinner was delicious and Dieuwke, our room mate, arrived during dinner. Dieuwke was very quite about her design life to us and not until she had left did Pru and I cotton on to her talents – well we had an inkling as we both were eyeing off her jumpers but not the extent of her work.
Day 2 we made our way to Holswick Visitors Center in Sandwick on the south west of the island for either a day of dying or a day of spinning – phew I didn’t wear my jumper as Gudrun had on hers that day. I had the wonderful Niela who with her amazing assistant the talented Mavis took us through a day of various dying techniques. We painted sock blanks and had a variety of both yarn, silk in various forms and fleece to dye. We used pots on the stove, oven, microwave and steaming.
Photos of Day 1 spinners
Part of the community centre where the classes were held was a museum and had a collection of radios that was used as part of the Shetland bus during the 2nd world war.
In the afternoon we went down to Niele’s shop and maybe I did by a few things……a gorgeous cardigan and a scarf or two.
At the end of the day Mavis showed us her amazing knitting and knitted items from spinning which blew us away, I suppose at this point I should say that all Shetlanders’ are extremely modest and are quite modest about their work and Mavis was no exception so no doubt if she or any of the other Sheltanders’ that read this blog would be quite embarrassed at my enthusiasm for their talents.
Day 3 was the opposite of day 2 for each half of the group and I did wear my jumper on this day. I was privileged to learn some fleece preparation and spinning with the amazing Elizabeth Johnston. Unlike fleeces that I have seen here in Australia each fleece of a shetland sheep is graded from 1-5 – the spine section and even the neck with felt with the weather and other parts are not so great either. On the whole they are alot cleaner than I have seen here as well. We pulled off some fleece, combed it and started with a drop spindle, some moved straight onto the wheel but I stayed with the spindle for the day. I really wanted to get the hang of it as I had bought one recently and want to get into spinning on a small scale again.
Day 3 spinners – Elizabeth showed us the long draft…..
Day 3 dyers – Pru managed to strangle a smurf and get quite blue hands on this day – the day previously I had glove fail and had 3 pink fingers…..